Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Both K and I were tired of having the same old cereal and milk for breakfast everyday, so just to jazz things up I made Poha. Simple filling this is a universal delight. I learnt to make poha from my aunt L when I lived with them in Mumbai for a year.
Poha or Chuda Upma as we call it at home it made of flattened rice (easily found in your local Indian grocery store). In Bihar, everyday breakfast comprises of soaked, drained Chuda with yogurt, banana and sugar or gud (jaggery). Makes for a wholesome and filling breakfast.
2 cups poha
A pinch of hing(asafoetida)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2 whole dry chillies, broken into two
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed into small pieces
1 cup peas (I use frozen ones)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
To Garnish : 1 tbsp each of chopped green chilli and coriander leaves
Wash the poha, drain the water completely and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add the hing and mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the curry leaves, red chillies, potato, peas and turmeric powder. Mix well, cover and cook till potato is almost done.
Now add the poha and salt and mix well. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Garnish with chopped chillies and coriander leaves and serve hot. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Aloo Do Pyaza

This is my father's signature recipe and a family favorite. A generous dose of garlic enhances the flavor of this potato curry. Try this recipe and I assure you, you will not be disapointed. Served with Rice or Puri, this makes for a wonderful meal.
1 lb potatoes, boiled and quartered (I used white potatoes and kept the skin)
10 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 onions, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ghee
3 green cardamom
3 whole cloves
1" cinnamon stick
Chopped coriander leaves, to garnish
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil
Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic for about a minute and then add the chopped onions. When onion turns pink, add the potato +turmeric powder + chilli powder + salt. Cook on low heat till the onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups water + chopped tomato, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, with a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind green cardamom + cloves + cinnamon stick.
Heat ghee in a small pan. Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to crackle, add the coarsely ground spices. Mix well and add to the potato curry. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes more. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Puri / Paratha or steamed rice. Enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mixed Vegetable Pulao

Like noodles, I think veggie pulao is again a favorite with almost everybody. This kind of pulao is also always a crowd pleaser. A handful of veggies of choice, some whole spices and rice - there is something that is so comforting.
1 cup basmati rice, clean, and soak in cold water for about 15-20 minutes. Drain and keep aside
1 1/2 cups, mixed veggies of your choice (I use the frozen ones)
2 cloves
2 badi/moti elaichi (black cardamom)
2-3 choti elaichi (green cardamom)
2-3 peppercorns
1" cinnamon stick, broken into 2
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups of water
1/4 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp each cumin powder, coriander powder and chilli powder
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a dutch oven Add the cloves + badi elaichi + green cardamom + peppercorns + cinnamon stick + bay leaf. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mixed vegetables now and cook till the veggies are almost done. Add the soaked rice and cook for a minute. Add water + salt + cumin powder + coriander powder + chilli powder + ghee. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook till rice is done and water is evaporated. Serve hot with yogurt or raita. Enjoy !

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spaghetti with Meatballs

I love pasta. In fact I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like pasta. As students, both K and I lived on pasta a couple of days a week. It was an inexpensive and filling meal. One of our all time favorites is Spaghetti with Meatballs. This is a simple recipe, but full of flavor. I did used ground turkey and Prego's Tomato-Mushroom sauce for this. With K helping me, this meal took about 30 minutes from start to finish. Rachel Ray, here I come :) :)

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
10-12 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup cheese, grated
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Salt to taste

Mix all the above ingredients. Pre-heat the oven at 400 F. Lightly spray a baking tray. Make medium sized balls with the ground turkey mix, and bake for 15-20 minutes (depending upon your oven). Once done, remove from oven and keep aside.

Whole grain spaghetti (about 1 generous handful)
1 jar Pasta sauce of your choice
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves and grated cheese for garnish

Cook spaghetti al dente according to directions on the package. Keep aside 3 ladleful of the pasta water, drain the spaghetti and keep aside.
In a deep bottomed pan, heat the pasta sauce. Add the reserved pasta liquid. Gently add the meatballs and let simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the spaghetti, mix well. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves, grated cheese alongwith a slice of garlic bread. Enjoy !!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Chana Dal

This dal is comes under the "comfort food" category for me. Ma used to make Chana Dal as a treat if we did something great and so I have very happy memories associated with this Dal. Her cooking has a lot of influence of Uttar Pradesh, since she spent her formative years there. It is a very simple recipe where Ginger and Garlic enhance the slightly nutty flavor of the Dal.
Ma would cook the dal for about 2 hours, but I don't have that kind of patience, so I cooked the dal in the pressure cooker. Served with rice or Paratha this is like heaven for the taste buds. Try it, and you will not be disappointed.
Nutrition Info : Chana dal has a low glycemic index so it is good for Diabetics. It is also high in fibre, protein and Zinc.

1 cup Chana dal, cleaned
1" ginger, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (you can increase the amount, depending upon your heat comfort)
1 tsp ghee
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander for garnish
Cook the dal + 2 cups water + ginger + turmeric + salt in a pressure cooker till done. Release the steam, remove the cooker cover and on low flame cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
Heat ghee in a small pan and add cumin seeds + garlic. Cook for a minute and add the garam masala powder + red chilli powder. Mix well and pour on the cokked dal. Add the chopped coriander leaves, mix well and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. (You can add a little water if the dal is thick). Serve hot with Rice / Paratha and a serving of cool Raita. Enjoy !

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pepper Chicken Curry

Recipe Adapted from : Sailu's Food

Sometimes, some recipes just call out to you. I saw this recipe on this blog and it was so interesting that I just had to try it out. I had never used Saunf (Fennel Seed) before while cooking chicken. The combination of the spicy pepper and mild fennel was so intriguing. I am glad to say the dish was as great at it looked. This is one dish that will be featuring often in my house now :)

1 1/2 lb of chicken, remove skin, cleaned (I used drumsticks)
2 onion, sliced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1" ginger, minced
4 green chillies, sliced lengthwise
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp saunf (fennel seed) powder
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves, to garnish

Heat oil in a pan and cook onions till brown. Add the sliced green chillies and the ginger-garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the chicken pieces and cook on high heat for about 5 minutes.
Now add salt + turmeric powder + coriander powder + saunf + ground pepper and mix well so that the chicken pieces are well coated. Cook covered for a couple of minutes and add the chopped tomato. On medium heat, cook till the tomato is cooked and oil separates.
Add 1 cup of water (if you want thick gravy, use 1/2 cup of water), cover and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the garam masala and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well. Serve hot with steamed rice / Paratha / Dosa. Enjoy !

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken is comfort food in K's home. It is the panacea for every disappointment, stress ... whatever ails you :) We don't generally have fried food in our home, but this is an exception. This is K's signature dish.

5 chicken drumsticks
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp vinegar
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
Remove the skin from the drumsticks, clean and keep aside. In a bowl mix salt +vinegar + chilli powder + turmeric + cumin + curry powder. Using a knife, make a couple of slits on the chicken, add to the marinade and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a flat bottomed pan. Add the chicken pieces and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes or till the chicken is well cooked, turning the drumsticks a couple of times. Serve hot with Parathas and Raita. Enjoy !
(If you don't want to fry it, you can grill it or bake it too. Tastes equally good :) )