Friday, December 19, 2014


Chicken Chimichanga 
Chimichanga is a burrito prepared with a choice of meat, vegetables, beans and spices. deep-fried to a golden perfection, and served on a bed of lettuce with cheese and mild sauce. All the yumm flavor in a fried tiny bundle. You can serve it with extra beans on the side or lime cilantro rice. Make sure to serve all the fixins, the experience enhances with every topping you add. 

Ingredients: serves 4
For the Chicken filling
4 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt
1 small tomato, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small pan. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and salt to taste and toast 30 seconds. 
  2. Add the tomato and coriander and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and warm through. Remove from the heat.
For the Guacamole
1 avocado
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mash the avocados with the lime juice, garlic, and salt. Season with pepper. Adjust with more lime juice if necessary to taste.

For the Black beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp olive oil

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes till onions tern pink and add the tomato paste and drained beans. Season with cumin powder and chili flakes and mix well to incorporate the tomato. Set aside.

For Pico de gallo
1 large diced tomato
1/2 diced medium sized red onion
1/4 bunch of cilantro (use more or less depending on your taste)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tsp of salt
1 jalapenos (or more if you prefer it hotter)

  1. Mix up all ingredients and keep at room temperature for half an hour to let flavors blend in.

For Salsa Verde: Green Tomatillo Salsa
The slushy, herbaceous freshness of the all-raw tomatillo salsa with the buzz of the fresh hot green chili adds thrill to this dish.
5-6 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped
Green chilies, to taste (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno)
5 or 6 sprigs fresh coriander , roughly chopped

1 clove garlic (optional)

  1. Roughly chop the tomatillos and the chilies. 
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, chilies, cilantro, garlic (if using) and a little lime juice or water. Process to a coarse puree, season with salt.
Other toppings
Mixture of melted 2 tbsp butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil
8 medium sized tortillas, whole wheat or corn
Shredded iceburg lettuce
4 tbsp Sour Cream (I used hung yogurt)
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
Jalepeno peppers thinly cut in rings

To Assemble :
  1. Warm the tortilla in the microwave. Top with a scoop of beans, chicken mixture, cheese and pico de gallo. 
  2. Fold all four sides to make a parcel. Brush with butter-oil mixture and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 450 F, brushing again after you flip.
  3. Alternately shallow fry these parcels in a pan at medium heat in olive oil till crisp and lightly brown on both sides.
  4. Serve topped with Salsa Verde, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce and olives. You can also serve lime cilantro rice on the side. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Karahi Paneer

Karahi Paneer
A flavorful dish to serve with naan or roti, karahi paneer has its roots in Mughlai cooking. Succulent pieces of paneer and smoky peppers are cooked in a tangy tomato sauce with a hint of creaminess. Adjust the consistency as per your taste.  

Dry Spices ground coarsely 
1/2 tsp each cumin and coriander seeds
2 cloves, small black cardamom,
2 green cardamoms, few black peppercorns

1 tsp oil for tomato sauce
ginger slit into small pieces
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 large tomatoes pureed

2 Tbs oil for paneer
400 gm paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubed
1 each red and green sweet pepper cut into strips
1 tbsp kasuri methi
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander powder
red chili powder
salt to taste
2 tbs plain yogurt, blended until smooth
1 tbsp sour cream (optional)
  1. In a small pan heat oil and add ground dry spices. Let cook for 10 seconds. 
  2. Add ginger and garlic and stir for a minute. 
  3. Add tomato puree, yogurt and a little bit of salt. Also, red chili powder if desired. 
  4. Stir and cook on high for 3-4 minutes till tomatoes and yogurt get cooked, water evaporates and oil leaves the side of the pan. Keep aside. 
  5. In another pan heat oil and add kasuri methi. Stir for 10 seconds. 
  6. Add cubed paneer and on medium heat lightly fry them till they turn golden. 
  7. Add the peppers and all the spices. On high heat stir well till the peppers get a little crispy, for about 2-3 minutes. 
  8. Now add the tomato sauce and coat well. If it is too dry add 1/4 cup or more or less of boiling water as per the desired consistency. 
  9. Take out of the heat and add the sour cream if using and mix. 
  10. Garnish with fresh green coriander and serve with roti or naan.
Karahi Paneer

Friday, December 5, 2014

Tandoori Masala

Tandoori masala is a blend of several spices used specifically to flavor dishes which are cooked in the tandoor or clay oven. This characteristic red colored spice mix is spicy and very aromatic, used mainly in North Indian BBQ dishes. When using as a marinade blend it with hung yogurt along with salt to marinate chicken, fish, paneer, veggies such as peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, onions and potato. Also remember that this home made version is very potent and a little goes a long way to spice up curries and stir fries. Store it in an air tight container for several weeks.

The characteristic red color comes from the Kashmiri chillies which have a distinctive flavor, though not very spicy. I use the powder sometimes but if you have the whole dry ones, use them. Below are some of the BBQ dishes made using Tandoori masala.  

Ingredients: (Makes about 10 tbsp )
Whole Spices

2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 black cardamoms, pods only
2 green cardamoms
7-8 cloves
1 inch piece cinnamon
11/2 tsp red peppercorns
1/4 piece nutmeg
3-4 blades mace
1 tsp Kasuri methi
Ground Spices
1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp paprika
3 tbsp Kashmiri chillie powder
  1. Dry roast the first six whole spices on medium heat gently till fragrant 2 minutes. Take care to not change their color. Shut off the heat and remove spices from pan to cool.
  2. Dry roast red peppercorns, mace, nutmeg and Kasuri methi in the hot pan with the heat shut off for a minute. These are very delicate spices and can over roast easily. Keep aside to cool. 
  3. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Add the ground spices to this mix and pulse the grinder a few times to combine.
  4. Store in an air tight container.

Dishes to make using tandoori masala
Tandoori Fish 

Tandoori chicken

Tandoori paneer tikka

Tandoori Gobhi
Dumpukht chicken biryani

Friday, November 28, 2014

Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng is the Indonesian version of fried rice. The main flavor boosters in the dish are kecap manis (the sweet and syrupy soy sauce), and sambal (the chili garlic sauce). You can find both of these in any Asian grocery stores.
Nasi Goreng does not have a specific recipe. You can add anything you like to customize the dish. It is a means of using any leftover white rice, veggies, and meats. This here is my version, a wholesome dish all in one as a complete meal. In the following recipe, I have scrambled the egg and mixed it with the rice. Another very popular way to serve this dish is to top it with a fried egg. Both versions are yummm, just customize to your taste.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
20 raw shrimps, peeled and deveined
2 eggs
Vegetable oil
3 cups cooked rice
4 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 tbsp soy sauce
3-4 tbsp sambal
1 cup finely shredded savoy cabbage
2 spring onion or 1 stalk leeks, chopped fine
1 carrot grated
2 stalks celery chopped
1/2 yellow or red pepper julienne
Handful beans chopped fine
  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok and stir-fry cabbage, carrot, beans, celery, and peppers till tender crisp stage. Keep aside. 
  2. In the same wok heat a tbsp oil in the center. Add the shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side till all the pink turns to white. Do not overcook as they get tougher. Keep aside. 
  3. Heat 3 tbsp oil in the same wok and stir-fry sambal paste for 2 minutes, till brownish and fragrant, at medium heat. 
  4. Push spices to the side of the wok and pour egg in the center of the work. 
  5. Quickly scramble the egg for a minute. Mix egg with spices, break them into smaller pieces. 
  6. Add rice, shredded chicken, kecap manis and soy sauce. Stir-fry everything quickly over high heat, for 6-7 minutes. 
  7. Add spring onion and stir fried veggies and cooked shrimp. Mix well till all the flavors blend. Taste and adjust the sweetness and/or spiciness by adding more of kecap manis or sambal. 
  8. Serve warm with condiments such as sliced tomatoes/cucumber, fried egg, crackers, etc.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fish fry

Haddock fish pieces marinated in a delectable masala, pan fried till crisp. Use any firm fish which can withstand frying without breaking down. I prefer to shallow fry but you can deep fry as well. Serve it as an appetizer with lime wedges and onion rings. Serve along side potato cakes and coleslaw for a shore lunch.

Ingredients: serves 4-5
2 lbs Haddock cut in 3 inch long pieces
Marinade 1
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
salt to taste
red chili powder to taste
1 tbsp sriracha chili sauce (any hot sauce)
3-4 garlic cloves crushed fine
1 inch ginger crushed fine
2-3 tbsp tamarind pulp (or you can use lime juice)
Marinade 2
1/4 cup each fine semolina and rice flour mixed and seasoned with salt and red chili powder
  1. Mix all ingredients of marinade 1 to make a smooth paste. 
  2. Marinate the fish pieces for a minimum of 15 minutes. 
  3. Roll the marinated fish pieces in the marinade 2 generously. 
  4. Shallow fry these pieces till golden and crisp. 
  5. Serve immediately with onion rings and lime wedges.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Keema Biryani

Keema biryani, the fabulous street food of Mumbai, made with fragrant minced lamb or goat flavored in aromatic spices and then cooked with scented basmati rice in a dum preparation. Dum style of cooking requires assembling several layers of ingredients in a dish and then sealing it tightly to allow the flavors to develop as everything cooks in steam slowly at low heat. 
This is a great recipe for entertaining. Serve with a side of raita to cool the palate. If you have a have a high spice quotient then serve with Mirchi ka Salan for a full Hydrabadi experience. 

2 cups basmati rice
1 1/2 lbs minced lamb (Keema)
3 large onions, sliced
A few strands of Saffron
Milk (warm): ¼ cup
Red Chili Powder to taste
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup plain yogurt whipped
2 tomatoes crushed fine
Salt to taste
2 tsp dry mint
Dry spices whole
1 " cinnamon stick
2 black cardamom
4-5 cloves
3-4 green cardamom
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Prepare the rice
  1. Wash the rice thoroughly with few changes of water and soak it for at least 30 minutes. Cook the rice with some salt and 2 black cardamoms until it is just half done. Drain out the water and set aside. 
  2. Fry 2 sliced onions till golden brown and set aside.
  3. Mix the saffron in warm milk and set aside.
Prepare the minced meat or keema:
  1. Heat oil in a deep pan, add the whole spices and allow them to roast for a few seconds. Add the sliced onions and fry until it is translucent. 
  2. Mix in the minced meat, ginger-garlic paste and fry for 10 minutes over medium heat breaking the lamb while cooking. Cook till brown. 
  3. Once the lamb is fried to golden brown in color and leaves its aroma, add the tomato paste and whipped yogurt along with the red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder; continue to cook over low heat for another 10 minutes or till you see oil leaving the side of the pan. Turn off the flame and set aside.
Assemble the biryani for dum
  1. Prepare a bed of rice in any heavy bottom pan with a third of the cooked rice. Spread half the cooked meat over the rice along with the saffron milk, a few sprinkle of mint and some caramelized onions. repeat layers and finish off with the rest of the rice and the caramelized onions. 
  2. Seal the lid of the pan with dough so that the steam can not escape from it. Cook it in dum on slow heat for another 15 minutes or till done. Alternately place the pan in the oven at 350 for 30-40 minutes 
  3. Serve the hot biryani with raita.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Rajma Chawal

Red kidney beans curry with steamed rice

Rajma chawal, the famous duo is a Punjabi (North Indian) comfort food. Curried red kidney beans served on a bed of steamed rice hits the spot on a cold wet evening. A perfect one dish meal for Sunday lunch. 
Taking a look at its nutritional aspect-
All star fibre
Kidney beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, kidney beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein.(source).
Heart healthy, antioxidant rich
They are also a very good source of iron, potassium and magnesium which helps maintain blood pressure within normal range and protects the over-all heart health. Potassium and magnesium dilate the blood vessels and arteries thus assuring smooth blood flow.
It is full of antioxidants. These antioxidants boost our immune system and protect it from the harmful effects of free radicals by scavenging them and limiting the damage. (source)

Ingredients1 1/4 cup rajma/red kidney beans, soaked overnight in 6 cups water
2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
4-5 medium sized tomatoes, crushed
1 ½ tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 cloves
½ inch cinnamon stick roughly pounded
½ tsp red chili powder or as required
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
salt as required
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp garam masala powder
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
  1. Soak the rajma in 6 cups water for a good 8-9 hours or overnight. 
  2. In a heavy bottomed pan heat oil and add cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon and roast for a few seconds . Add sliced onions and cook stirring occasionally till translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and continue frying till the concoction turns golden brown. 
  3. Add crushed tomatoes along with red chili powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Cook stirring often till oil separates from the sides of the pan. 
  4. In a pressure cooker, add the soaked rajma along with all the water and the above masala. Add salt to taste, stir well and cover the lid. 
  5. Pressure cook on high till the first whistle. Simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes further. 
  6. Let the pressure release on its own before opening the lid. Check for consistency. If its too watery boil it down, if too dry add some boiling water to it. Boil on high for a few minutes till the gravy becomes smooth (the curry should not be watery, it should have a smooth consistency). You can also mash a few rajma with the back of the spoon. this will help in thickening the gravy. 
  7. Finally, take it off the heat, stir in garam masala and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. 
  8. Serve hot with plain boiled rice or jeera rice.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pineapple upside down

Here is an easy recipe for a delicious, super moist, homemade pineapple upside-down cake. This delectably sweet classic treat consists of caramelized slices of pineapple and a buttery white cake batter. I like using fresh slices of pineapple but you can use canned slices as well. Any sugar will work here but brown sugar adds an interesting taste especially when caramelized.
As a variation add some pecans or walnut pieces alongside the pineapple rings, right over the caramelized sugar. The added crunch and nuttiness adds a whole new flavor dimension.
The combination of the rich buttery cake and caramelized pineapples creates a rich, luscious fabulous dessert. Serve it with coffee, tea or as a perfect ending to a tropical meal.

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
For Topping

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 canned or freshly sliced pineapple rings
For Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
3/4 cup milk/buttermilk (or 1/4 cup plain yogurt + 1/2 cup whole milk )
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Juice and grated rind from 1 lime
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. To prepare the cake mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Whisk together melted butter and sugar until soft. Whisk in egg, milk, lime juice and rind, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. The batter will be thick.
  3. To prepare the topping place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Continue cooking (without stirring) for a few more minutes or until bubbles appear around the outside edges and the sugar starts to caramelize. Remove from heat, and pour into 9 inch round cake pan. Evenly arrange the pineapple slices on top of the sugar mixture. Can also garnish with cherries or pecans.
  4. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. 
  5. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and invert cake onto a large serving plate. Slice and serve warm, room temperature, or even cold. Try serving with vanilla ice cream - it's a delicious combination. Cover cake and store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Kheer is one of the most popular sweet treats of India. It is prepared during all Hindu festivals and celebrations. It is most often made with rice, but other variations exist such as vermicilli or seviyan kheer, makhana kheer, sabutdana kheer, carrot kheer, apple kheer, and so on. Kheer as its called in North India is also known as payesh in Bengal and payasam in southern India.

It owes its richness and creaminess to the milk which cooks down to almost half making the rice creamy and silky. With the flavor undertones of green cardamom, saffron and pistachios kheer makes for a really special treat. This one is for my brother on the occasion of bhaidooj, love you bro.

2 litre full fat milk
1/2 cup raw white rice, washed and drained
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
8-10 strands of saffron, lightly crushed
6-7 green cardamoms, crushed to a fine powder
Slivered almonds and pistachios for garnish
  1. In a heavy bottomed pan take 2 liters milk, and 1/2 cup white rice. Stir frequently as the raw rice can start sticking to the bottom. Bring to a rolling boil. 
  2. Simmer, add saffron and cook stirring often to avoid burning till water content of the milk evaporates and it thickens to a desired consistency. This will take about 40 - 45 minutes. 
  3. Add 1/2 -3/4 cups sugar(as per your taste) and stir well for another five minutes . 
  4. Remove from heat and add crushed green cardamom powder, chopped almonds and pistachios. Serve hot or chilled. I prefer it chilled.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Besan burfi

Besan ki burfi

Besan ki burfi - the immensely popular sweet treat of India, is made with roasted chickpea flour, sugar and clarified butter. This fudge like sweet bite has a melt in your mouth texture and has exotic flavors of cardamom, pistachio and almond. Perfect for any festival and occasion. I prefer to use the coarsely ground besan for this, but you can use the fine ground besan as well. The main trick here is to patiently roast the flour in ghee at medium heat till it turns golden and fragrant. Requires constant stirring otherwise besan will cook unevenly.
This is my mithai for Diwali this year. Happy Diwali everyone.

2 cups Gram flour (besan) coarsely ground
1 cup ghee melted
1 cup powdered sugar (or very fine sugar)
5-6 Green cardamoms powdered
10-12 almonds sliced
Chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat ghee in a non-stick pan. Add gram flour to the pan and sauté on medium heat, stirring constantly, till fragrant and browned. This took me about 30-35 minutes on medium heat. 
  2. Switch off the heat. Add sugar and stir well till it blends with the gram flour mixture. Add green cardamom powder and mix well. 
  3. Grease an aluminium tray. Transfer the mixture into the greased tray and spread evenly. Level the surface. Sprinkle almonds and set aside to cool. It will take a while but the mixture will set eventually (2-3 hours). 
  4. Carefully cut into squares or diamonds and serve. 
  5. Store in an airtight container for a week.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kumaoni Malpua -Singhal

Malpua or singhal (सिंघल) - Specially for Diwali

In Kumaon (Hills of Uttar Pradesh, now called Uttarakhand) culture, malpua is a festivity dish. It is made on every festive and auspicious occasion such as Diwali, Holi, Weddings, Birthdays, Child's naming ceremony, etc. When I was a kid my brother and I really enjoyed these yum sweet treats and now my girls do the same. Apart from the delicious taste it keeps alive the festive tradition in our family and I hope to pass it on to my girls some day. Making singhals is a bit tricky and I have spoilt a large quantity of batter when I first tried making these some 12 years ago. You need to hold a lot of batter in your palm and drop it in a continuous spiral shape in the oil. But don't worry the tiny malpuas are just as tasty and are easy to make until you are able to make the spirals. They can also be made using a ziplock bag. Fill a large ziplock with batter and snip a large hole in a corner. Now carefully drop the batter in a spiral pattern into the hot oil.

Ingredients: (about 40 malpuas)
2 1/4 cup suji (semolina)
1/3 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
oil for deep frying
  1. Take suji in a large bowl and add ghee. Mix well with finger tips. 
  2. Add yogurt and milk and mix to get a batter of droppable consistency.(see image below) 
  3. Now add sugar and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave aside for an hour at room temperature. 
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan at medium high heat for 7-10 minutes. 
  5. After an hour the batter will change in consistency and become drier. Add about 1/4 cup of water to bring it back to the right consistency. 
  6. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil and deep fry till golden brown. You might need to bring the heat down a bit every so often and then take it back up to prevent them from charring. 
  7. Store in an air tight container at room temperature Will keep for 4-5 days.
Batter Consistency

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mango Phirni

Mango Phirni

Phirni or 'Phirun' is an Indian rice pudding made by cooking ground rice and milk till its creamy. This refreshing yet decadent sweet dish is usually flavored with saffron and green cardamom, but this mango variation is heavenly. Use fresh mangoes when in season. I have used canned mango puree. Make sure to add extra sugar when using fresh mangoes.

Mango Phirni

Ingredients(serves 6)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup mango puree
2 1/2 T rice soaked and coarsely ground
1/4 cup sugar or as per taste
3-5 green cardamoms powdered
Pistachios and almond flakes for garnish
  1. Heat milk in a heavy bottomed pan. When it is hot, not boiling, add the ground rice mixture and stir. Bring to a boil. 
  2. Simmer and continue cooking while stirring till the milk thickens up. This happens fairly quickly since the rice is not whole and gets cooked pretty fast. 
  3. When it reaches the desired consistency add sugar and mix well. Then add the mango pulp. Mix and cook for another minute. 
  4. Remove from heat, add the cardamom and let it cool. 
  5. Garnish with almonds and pistachios.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chaat Specialities

Straight from the streets of India here are some immensely popular savory snack dishes. Mainly sold at roadside stalls and carts, chaat corners have become very popular all over South east Asia. Most of these street foods have their origin in Uttar pradesh , Maharashtra, Rajasthan.
Putting all these dishes together reminds me of my University days when we used to go to Nathu's sweets in Bengali Market, Delhi to indulge in gol gappas and other such delights. This one is for my buddies Tanya, Bhawana, Jyoti and Anjali. Those were the days.

Papri chaat
Papri chaat combines flavors and textures which give a unique taste in the mouth. The softness of the bhalla, crispy saltiness of the papri, silky texture of boiled potato and bite in the chickpeas are all put together with flavored yogurt and sweet and sour chutneys. Heaven on a plate.
Find the recipe here.

Paani poori
A crisp poori which is filled with potato, chickpeas, green chutney, imli chutney and paani. The catch is that the whole thing has to go inside the mouth all at once for an explosion of varied flavors and textures, or it explodes on you when you bite. Find the recipe here.
Katori chaat
Crispy katori or basket filled with sweet, tangy spicy goodness. This is the most fun way to have chaat, a great way to serve chaat to your guests and kids just adore these. Make your own crispy katoris by using wonton wrappers for bite sized baskets or larger spring roll wrappers for a serious chaat katori. Find the recipe here.
The evergreen Indian street food, Aloo tikki is loved by all, big and small. This versatile dish can be served in several ways and is a real comfort food for those cold and wet evenings. I am serving it today with choley and two varieties of chutneys. Find the recipe here.
Savory lentil dumplings served topped with spiced cool yogurt and tamarind chutney. It makes a great accompaniment to any formal dinner or can be served as a cold starter.
Find the recipe here.
Diced potatoes are fried in generous helpings of oil on large griddles or tava and drizzled with tamarind, mint chutneys and an array of ground fragrant spices. Whats not to like. Find the recipe here.

Ram Laddoo
Every Delhite has seen and/or eaten these savory, tangy, spicy little fried dumplings. Moong dal pakoda or ram laddoo, a popular street food in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, are fried nuggets made of moong dal, served with a generous helping of grated radish, sweet tamarind chutney and spicy mint coriander chutney. A great starter to serve at your next party. For recipe click here.

Bengal gram chaat
This dish here is sooo delicious and basically just a mix of flavors and textures. Just like a salad, throw in any fruit and vegetable you fancy and flavor as per your taste. I have mixed this one like a chaat with sweet, sour, salty and tangy flavors and soft and crunchy textures all in one. Try it. Guaranteed delicious. Find the recipe here.

This tempting platter here is an assortment of fried pakodas (chick pea fritters). Small pieces of veggies are encased in a thick coating of chick pea flour batter, then deep fried till crisp. Known by many names pakoda, pakora, pakode this street food is served all across India. The vendors keep them half cooked ready to be crisped in hot oil and serve them in minutes with generous lashings of chutney. Find the recipe here.

Bonda/Batata vada
Bonda or Batata Vada are battered, deep fried potato fritters typically served as a tea time snack. This vegetarian appetizer is a popular Maharashtra street food and is served with a bunch of condiments such as green mint coriander chutney and the red chili garlic chutney. Flavored mashed potatoes are shaped into round balls and dipped in a thick chickpea flour batter, then deep fried to get a crispy exterior with a soft interior. Find the recipe here.

Khasta Kachori
Khasta kachori is the essential hearty and heavy breakfast food of northern India, specially the streets of Uttar Pradesh. It is available at all halwai shops and street vendors in the mornings, enticing everyone with its rich and spicy aroma of deep frying and hing tadka. Find the recipe here.

A savory appetizer from Gujarat India, khandvi is made from gram flour and yogurt. The procedure to prepare looks easy enough, but it does require some practice to roll the perfect khandvi. Find the recipe here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rice dishes

Rice is the most widely consumed cereal grain, and a staple food for a large percentage of the world's Human population. Many varieties of rice are available in the market but culinary preferences vary by region. Rice is a very versatile grain and is cooked in a variety of ways, each one more interesting and more delicious than the other. Following is a compilation of 18 different rice dishes from the blog till date. Enjoy these flavors and textures.

Kashmiri biryani
Developed in the royal kitchens of Nawabs and Rajas, Kashmiri biryani is a royal culinary masterpiece. Biryani is always a crowd pleaser and this version is surely made for special occasions with its rich and silky texture, bold flavours and and eye pleasing colour. Engulfed in flavorful chicken, delicate vegetables and a plethora of nuts the rice acquires a heavenly taste. A must try for all.
Find the recipe here

Chicken Biryani
The name Biryani is derived from the Persian word birian which means “fried or roasted” and has its roots in the Persian cuisine. There are many legends regarding its movement to the Indian subcontinent. Some believe it was brought to India by the Muslim merchants and travelers and made popular during the Mughal rule in cities like Lucknow, Hyderabad and Kashmir. Some believe it traveled across the Arabian Sea with the Arab travelers. Some believe it was devised as a dish to feed a large army and was cooked in a large earthen pot sealed with dough.
Find the recipe here.

Kathal (Jackfruit) biryani
Jack fruit belongs to the mulberry family and is widely grown in parts of Southeast Asia. It has a thick spiky green skin, a starchy and fibrous flesh, and is a source of dietary fiber. An interesting take on biryani for a vegetarian option. 
Find the recipe here.

Dum pukht chicken biryani
The essence of dum pukth lies in its aroma, where meat rice and vegetables are allowed to infuse in rich spices by cooking them on a very slow flame in a copper or earthen pot covered with dough. This purdah (veil) style of cooking seals the pot with the dough allowing the food to cook slowly in its own juices and infusing the flavour all over. These dishes use a generous amount of ghee and are elaborate to make.
You can use either lamb or chicken, preferably with bones. Find the recipe here

Savoury Saffron rice
Delicately flavored and elegant. It kind of evolves from the pilaf recipes of the Mughlai cuisine, and goes very well with shrimp. This rice can be served with any BBQ meats such as Cedar wrapped salmon , Malai chicken tikka , Tandoori chicken , Grilled red snapper , Stuffed chicken breast and grilled Tilapia.
Find the recipe here.

Sweet saffron rice
Delicately flavored with saffron, cloves, cardamom and almonds, lightly sweetened and infused with clarified butter. Delicious and pretty.
Find the recipe here.

Microwave Veggie rice 
Super quick, super easy and packed with veggies. While you cook the main dish throw this together and let the microwave take over. Excellent dish to involve kids in the kitchen.
Find the recipe here.

Lemon rice
Chittra anna is lemon fried rice. Also called Nimbekai Chitranna in Kannada it is the most commonly prepared rice dish in Karnataka. The rice is yellow from turmeric and flavored with lemon, fried peanuts and spices. Since it is so colorful it is often made for special occasions or festivals. Serve with raita, green beans palya or lentil stews like sambar or rasam.
Find the recipe here.

Chana pulao
A wonderful dish for Sunday lunch. This one pot meal is sure to be a hit around the table as it combines the earthiness of chickpeas with the rich vibrancy of achari (pickle) flavors. Addition of fennel and nigella seeds adds the pickle like taste while the bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon add the pulao flavors. Serve with a refreshing mixed salad raita and a crunchy papad.
Find the recipe here.

Vangi bhaat
Vangi bhaat or brinjal rice is one of the many famous rice dishes of southern India. There are two main variations of this dish - Maharashtrian and Karnatak. The main difference is in the spices. This recipe is the Karnataka variation which uses coconut and curry leaves. Typically long purple or green eggplants are used here. You can use the Chinese long eggplant (be sure to not overcook it), or use the small Indian ones as I have done (they taste great). Prepare the vangi bhaat masala (recipe in the image below) in advance and then making this dish is super quick.
Find the recipe here.

Haryala pulao
A comforting one pot dish for those days when you want quick hot meal in minutes. Loaded with the goodness of greens this is a great dish for lunch. You can add any combination of vegetables frozen of fresh, just make sure they are green ones (for this recipe). Mint adds the unique taste to the pulao. To get a green color, avoid adding any fried onions as they will color the pulao brown.
Find the recipe here.

Ginger rice
Rich in caramelized onion and ginger flavor. A great choice for serving alongside shrimp or fish curry. Find the recipe here.

Spinach chana dal pulao
A very simple lunch idea but is a complete meal on its own. Serve with plain yogurt for a refreshing and wholesome combo. Find the recipe here.

Masala capsicum rice
This recipe is one of its kind for rice. Extremely flavorful and aromatic owing to the ground dry roasted spices that impart a unique taste and texture to the rice. Colorful peppers can be cut in thin strips or chopped, either way they make the dish colorful.
Find the recipe here.

Chicken burrito bowl
This is a deconstructed burrito, largely inspired by Chipotle's burrito bowl. Rice is aromatic with a wonderful lime flavor, black beans are simmered in garlic and cumin, peppers have a charred grilled taste, corn adds the sweetness. I have listed several toppings and you can choose all or a few to make this your own. Omit chicken to make it vegetarian.
Find the recipe here.

Mushroom Risotto
This Italian rice dish cooked slowly in broth to a creamy consistency is a perfect complement to any grilled meat and chicken. Its no secret that a good risotto requires your undivided attention for about 20 minutes but its completely worth it.
Find the recipe here.

Wild rice Salad
Wild rice is gluten free and has more protein, fiber, iron and copper than brown rice. It is high in the B-vitamins niacin, riboflavin and thiamine, as well as potassium and phosphorus. It is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino-acids. This is a great dish to make as a side for BBQ, or as a lunch salad.
Find the recipe here.

Wild rice blend Salad with pecans and cranberries
Wild rice blend is a combination of good quality brown rice (bran intact crunchy and coarse textured kernels with a nutty flavor) and wild rice (long narrow dark brown-black kernels with a nutty flavor). This takes longer to cook than regular white rice but is worth the effort. Find the recipe here.