Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meatball(kofta) Curry in a jiffy

Hi Y'all, every now and then I like to try the southern twist in food and everything. The sudden interest started when one of my friend suggested that I am getting southern living here in Georgia. Now what that means is I am getting FAT. Anyways, life is short philosophy is simple " Enjoy life, Enjoy each thing , Live and let Live peacefully". Some simple pleasures while cooking and enjoying them with your friends and family.......

Here is a simple meatball curry. Now meatball can be made at home "Shammi" style or any style of your choice. I am just sharing the simple curry recipe here. I have used the TJ's turkey meatballs. I always keep vegan or turkey meatballs at home. Those are quick protein addition to any recipe which requires koftas.

1 tbsp fried onions
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 corriander powder
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste

Grind these ingredients together to make a smooth paste.

1/2 tsp paprika for color
chili powder as per taste
salt as per taste
1 tbsp thick yogurt(reduce the amount to 1/3 if using sour cream)
one bay leaf
2 cloves
pinch or two of garam masala of your choice(I use punjabi garam masala)
Jeera and oil for tadka

3-4 meatballs as per requirement.

Heat oil in kadhai and add Jeera, bay leaf and cloves. Saute for a second and add the smooth paste. Saute the mixture till it leaves oil, it should take a minute or two. Add the thick yogurt now and mix it properly with the mixture. Add paprika, chili powder, garam masala, salt. Pour in water to adjust the consistency of curry. Let the curry boil and add the meatballs. Serve with rice or chapati.

Any koftas can be used for this curry.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Biryani semi-homemade style!

I am not into tedious cooking but sure love the food that taste this way. It can be assembled in the morning and then can be cooked in the evening.This is a very low-fat version of chicken biryani.

4-5 chicken drumsticks
small bunch of mint leaves(abt 15-20 leaves)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup fried onions(store bought)
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste(store bought)
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro leaves
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp biryani masala(any kind, store bought)
paprika as per taste
Salt as per taste

Marinate the chicken drumsticks in rest of the spices. Keep it marinated for 2-3 hours. For vegetarians, chicken can be substituted with canned raw green jackfruit pieces. If a jackfruit is used then there is no need of marination.

2 cups rice
1 tsp jeera
1 bay leaf
4-5 peppercorns
2-3 cloves
few drops of lemon juice
few strands of saffron

Cook the rices with the dried spices. For low fat version, I do not saute rice in oil or ghee, I just put everything in small amount of water and half-cook the rice in rice cooker.

For assembling: Spray some oil in oven-proof dish. Spread marinated chicken in the dish. Spread the half-cooked rice on top of chicken. Cover the biryani dish with aluminium foil. Cook biryani in 350 F oven for 25-30 minutes.

My family loves this biryani and I do not mind making it often as it is very easy to make and it is surprisingly low-fat. All the oil in the recipe is from the fried onion. I call it semihomemade style as there is not lot of prep and most of the things are storebought.

Enjoy veggie jackfruit biryani or chicken biryani this cold winter!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prune Bread

This posting comes after a long time. We were busy moving, packing and then unpacking, arranging,.....While this was going on we fed ourselves well, I think. While unpacking I found Marlene Sorosky's "Cookery for entertaining" book. It is a neat little book with some amazing recipes. I like the Prune bread recipe from this book. It has been tried and tasted a few times at this new abode.

So starting with the recipe....

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups chopped dried prunes
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp instant coffee
1/2 cup honey
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts

Soak chopped prunes in boiling water. Once prune mixture cools, whip egg in this mixture. Mix all the ingredients together with the whisked egg mixture. Bake it for 50-60 minutes in a square pan. Let it cool and serve!

In the book, it shows a fun way to bake it in coffee cans. It makes a cute presentation.For us, there is no time for presentation, the hungry family is ready to eat anything off the plates as soon as it is served :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

lentil dumplings in kadhi

This is a maharashtrian twist to pakoda in the punjabi kadhi. We call it "Kadhi-gole".I am really not sure, but in my family we call them "funkas". My maternal grandma being a superb cook, used to make these delicious funkas whenever we visited her place.There were a couple of ways she used to serve these to us. I am sharing here one recipe of funke.


for dumplings-
1/3 cup mung dal
1/3 cup chana dal
1/3 cup tur dal
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
generous sprigs of cilantro
green chilies as per taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt as per taste

Chapati dough-
1 cup wheat flour
salt as per taste

Grind all the ingredients together in as less of water as possible. The batter can be kept a little coarse.Keep this batter aside.

Make a regular chapati dough.

To assemble the recipe: Roll out a small chapati. Place couple spoonfuls of dal batter in the middle of the chapati. Cover the batter completely with rest of the chapati as you would wrap a baby!! Fold all the edges over each other, so the batter cannot come out easily.

Steam these assembled funkes in bamboo steamer or any assembly used for steaming veggies or dumplings.

To serve these funkes, put the cooked funkes in a bowl and pour over a generous serving of kadhi. I'll share the recipe of Kadhi shortly.

Enjoy this tasty, tangy rustic recipe and need I mention it again, it is healthy!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Keema Paratha

I was wondering the other day, Is there really anyone who does not like stuffed parathas? We are certainly not one of those.

The weather is trying to cross the side and getting colder by the day now, so I thought a little meat can do some good to make our bodies warm. I sound so old here......

Anyways, here is a simple recipe for keema paratha


For filling:
1 cup ground chicken/turkey(Approx. 1/2 lb)
1 small red onion
2 green chilies
few sprigs of cilantro
salt as per taste
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground corriander
1 tbsp oil

For paratha:
1 cup wheat flour
salt as per taste

2 tbsp oil for making parathas

Heat the oil in a kadhai. Saute the finely chopped green chilies and onion. Add all the other spices and the ground chicken/turkey. Cook this mixture properly. Sprinkle finely chopped cilantro for garnishing and let the Keema cool.

After cooling, press the mixture with hands and take out all the excess moisture.Try to make sure to take out all the excess moisture as it makes rolling the parathas a little difficult and also makes the parathas messy after heating.

For making paratha: Roll a lemon sized dough in thick chapati. Keep around the same size of keema mixture in center of the chapati. Cover the keema mix with the rest of the chapati dough.Take out the extra dough. Roll the stuffed dough as chapati and roast on a heated griddle with oil/ghee.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Adios to summer with pasta salad...........

I am a statistical person, most say, I abide by statistics. I took a quiz the other day and found out I am **% lazy. Major speculations are not entertained in this regard here, but one may say that I enjoy my free time.

Salads are one of the most filling foods put together in few minutes. With less clean-up, and lot of sunshine outside, I can enjoy the summer[reading, roaming]all the more with this easy meal.

2 cups pasta(rotini/penne, any small kind)
2tbsp olive oil
1 garlic
1 roasted red bell pepper(chopped)
10-15 chili stuffed olives
1/4 cup chopped artichokes
8 ounces of frozen spinach
few floweretes of broccoli
1/2 red onion(sliced)
salt as per taste
1/2 tsp parsley(dried or fresh)

Cook the pasta as per instructions on package. In meantime heat a small griddle to high temperature. Put a tbsp of olive oil, garlic, broccoli, spinach and saute for few seconds till they are partially cooked. Season these veggies with salt as per taste and let it cool.

When the pasta is cooked, let it cool for couple of minutes. To assemble the salad, mix together the spinach+broccoli, chopped artichokes, olives, onion, red bell pepper and pasta. Add some olive oil and parsley and toss it together.

Voila!!Enjoy the summer with burst of colors and health.........

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Less-fuss gulkand modak

The 10 day Ganesh Chaturthi festival has begun from August 23rd and modak is the favourite offering for our God. We invited Ganesh this time with less-fuss Gulkand modak this year. Now it is less fuss because the filling is so easy to make.


For filling
1/4 cup walnut
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup dry coconut flakes
1/4 cup gulkand
2 small elaichi(cardamom)
sugar as per sweetness(5-6 tsp approx.)
raisins(optional, as per taste)

Just grind all the ingredients together except gulkand. Mix in the gulkand and raisins with this mixture.

For covering

1 cup wheat flour
1 tsp oil
1 pinch salt
1 tsp rava/suji

Oil for frying.

Knead all the ingredients together in a comparatively tighter dough than chapati dough.Keep the dough covered for few minutes. Knead it again before rolling.

Take a very small ball of dough and roll it in chapati. The chapati should be quite small. Place a small tsp of filling in the middle and fold all the edges of chapati over the filling to completely cover it and bring the pinch up in the middle to form the peak. Make all the modaks in the same fashion and fry them together to golden brown at medium heat.

The flavour is refreshing........Try it!

hummus platter

Light snacks are welcome from time-to-time in the early evenings. There is nothing better to enjoy light snacks in the bright, breezy evening with the family and I do not want to spend time in the kitchen to let go this time. I just cut the veggies like celery, carrots, cucumber. Saute some chicken sausage and toast some multigrain bread and serve it with hummus. Hummus takes very few ingredients, a minute to be ready and the hummus platter is ready!!


1 can chickpeas
1/2 lime juice
few fresh parsley/cilantro
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp sesame seeds
salt as per taste
sun-dried tomatoes(optional)
1 tbsp olive oil

Just grind all the ingredients together in a food-processor to a smooth paste. Hummus is ready!!What can be easier than this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Grilled figs with honey

This is the simplest dessert one can ever imagine. Fresh figs are one of my father's favourite fruit. Now when I eat it here, I remember him at each bite. This is for you Papa.....


Fresh brown turkey figs
brown sugar(optional)
Icecream/ricotta cheese(optional)

Heat the grill plate. Cut the figs in half. If using brown sugar, sprinkle on figs.Keep the cut side on the grill, the grilling mark should appear in a minute.
Grill all the figs and drizzle them with honey. Some vanilla icecream can be used for topping or for low fat, whip up some vanilla and ricotta cheese and top the grilled figs. Walnuts or almond slices can be sprinkled as well.I like mine without any toppings. Oh it is so so yummy.......

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mango black bean salsa

Mr.N is super fanatic with fruits, I am quite the opposite. I am good with my 5 servings a month. I know, I know, it is important to practice what you preach. Fortunately for me, miss. R follows up after her father and enjoys most of her fruits. I try to include recipes with fruits to get some fruits in my diet and more fruits for them.
Now Mango salsa with it's burst of flavours can be used as a condiment or summer salad. I usually serve it with grilled jerk chicken, fish, roasted vegetables.


1 sliced Mango(firm)
1 can of black bean
1/2 red bell pepper(finely chopped)
1 small green chilli(finely chopped)
1/2 small red onion(finely chopped)
1/2 juice of lemon/lime
Coarse salt as per taste
finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp olive oil

Just mix all the ingredients together. It can be assembled beforehand minus the salt and just before serving add the salt so the salsa does not get too soggy.

Mango can be substituted by pineapple , avocado or grilled corn. Black bean can be substituted by kidney bean or chick peas.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sprouted mung dal idli

This is part of our regular summer meals, either breakfast, light lunch or dinner. Sprouted grains are rich in digestible energy, bioavailable vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids and beneficial enzymes and supposedly very good for human health.

1 cup sprouted mung beans
3/4 cup rava
1 cup beaten yogurt
lime juice as per taste
2 green chillies
small piece of ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fruit salt or eno
liberal springs of cilantro
salt as per taste

Grind all the ingredients together to a smooth paste except fruit salt. Add water to adjust the consistency of the idli batter. If needed to add more nutrition, very finely chopped veggies like carrots, french beans, spinach can be added to the batter. Assemble the idli maker and when ready to steam cook the idlis, mix in the fruit salt with the idli batter. Steam cook the idlis in same manner as idli.

Serve these idlis with your favourite chutney.

In case of leftover idlis, cut the idlis in small pieces. Sprinkle the idli pieces with dry idly chutney/podi and mix it well.Prepare a tadka with mustard seeds and curry leaves and pour over the idli pieces. Garnish it with chopped cilantro.

I have a picture of these idlis from Miss. R's lunch box. These idlis make a good lunch for kids as well.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Good times, yummy fish and healthy dinner!

Mr. N and miss. R were in the merriest moods last weekend and we were sweltering in this hot land. Our small freezer is packed with frozen foods. Took out some frozen asparagus, tilapia fillets and was trying to figure it out, what to whip out for sunday dinner.

So we had skillet lime salt fish, Quinoa, Avocado-Mango-chickpea salsa and Asparagus-baby squash saute. Some white wine "Zinfandel" and good music in the background. "Life is good" and we were so busy with it that there are not many decent photos of the whole meal thing.

Skillet lime-salt fish


4 Tilapia fillets(fresh or thawed, if frozen)
1/4 tsp cumin powder
red chili-lime-salt( as per taste)
2 tsp oil

Rub the tilapia fillets with the spices. Heat the iron skillet and add the oil. Cook the tilapia fillets on both sides. The fish takes a pretty red color with paprika. Even though, the fish does not take lot of ingredients, the results are pretty awesome.

For asparagus-babysquash saute, just chop the veggies and saute it at high flame with black pepper and sea-salt at high flame for a minute.

Cheers to good time and good food!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Easy breezy Chinese okra curry

Now this is the easiest curry to assemble in 5-10 minutes and goes well with chapati and rice.

2-3 chinese okra
1 small garlic clove
turmeric powder
chilli powder
cilantro( for garnishing)
2-3 tsp oil

Peel the chinese okra and cut it in small pieces. Heat the oil and add mustard, cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter add finely chopped garlic, turmeric and chilli powder. Roast it for couple of seconds and add the chopped veggie, a splash of water and salt. Cover the pot and let it cook for 10-12 minutes on low flame. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Red Pumpkin Curry

Being harmlessly good souls, my friends and I have completely pardoned our husbands from green groceries duty. Not a big deal, right?It is to us, it's our fun day. We try to make the monotous task a little fun. Every other friday, we ladies go to the local grocery store in the evening, finish our job and then end it with dinner at a restaurant with our families.

I got the red pumpkin after many days this time. It is Mr. N's one of the most favorite veggie. On second thought, Mr. N and I are veggie lovers, there are rarely any vegetables that we do not like. So here we go with this easy recipe.


3 cups of red pumkin slices
7-8 curry leaves
2-3 red chillies
1/2 tsp methi seeds
1/2 tsp pooppy seeds
1 tsp grated coconut(fresh or dried)
small bud of tamarind
2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp garam masala(I used maharashtrian style aka "kala masala")
chilli powder as per taste
mustard seeds, Asafoetida, turmeric powder( for seasoning)
cilantro for garnishing

Heat oil in kadhai and add all the seasonings. Saute red chillies, curry leaves, methi seeds, poppy seeds, grated coconut, chili powder, garam masala for 3-4 seconds. Add the chopped pumpkin, tamarind pour some water and let it cook on slow flame. The pumkin should cook in 20-25 minutes on slow flame. I retain the pumpkin cover as well for cooking so slices do not loose their shape and also it should add some more nutrition(fiber).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pea Paratha

This family is sold for any kind of parathas. Pea Paratha , one of the fancy way to get nutrition in this system.



2 cups wheat flour
salt as per taste

For filling

2 cups frozen peas(thawed)
1 small onion finely chopped
jeera for seasoning
Coriander powder
salt as per taste
red chilly powder as per taste

Saute jeera and onion in hot oil till onion gets translucent. Add thawed peas, coriander powder, salt and red chilly powder and cover the pot till peas get soft, cooked thoroughly. Mash the peas and let it cool.

For paratha: Roll a lemon sized dough in thick chapati. Keep around the same size of peas in center of the chapathi. Cover the peas mix with the rest of the chapati dough.Take out the extra dough. Roll the stuffed dough as chapati and roast on a heated griddle with oil/ghee.

Serve this paratha with pickle, curd.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Red Bell Pepper-Tomato Chutney and a great-together

My friend invited us for her daughter's 6th b'day party.Our parties are always fun and us ladies are always looking for a chance to see each other. We are almost 11 families, who moved from west coast to here. We were unknown to each other, but now it is like an extended family here.Anyways, coming back to food, she served idli-chutney and dhoklas for appetizer. The chutney was vibrant with color and tasted awesome!

I asked my friend to share the recipe and she referred me to her friend whom I met for the first time. She shared the recipe willingly. So it is her recipe. Thank you friend for your kindness!


2 big tomatoes( I used organic cherry tomatoes)
1 medium red bell pepper
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
4-5 curry leaves
2-3 red chillies(as per taste)
1 small piece of tamarind

Heat the oil in kadhai, and roast the chillies, curry leaves and dals for few seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes and bell pepper. Fry this mixture till the tomato juice evaporates and the mixture gets dry. Let it cool.

Grind this mixture with tamarind, salt and liberal sprigs of cilantro.Season the chutney with mustard seeds.

This chutney goes well with roasted chicken, idlis and vadas.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

healthy lunch for kid #1

Feeding Miss.R is one of the tidiest task. She gets tired with one kind of food soon enough that, I have to be constantly in search of something new to be one step ahead of her. Some kind of Dosa is always to the rescue to feed this finicky child. I always make up names to tell her. Today it is Raagich(Raagi+Spinach) dosa.

Raagich Dosa

2 spoons Raagi flour
2 spoons rice flour
1 spoon semolina
few drops lemon juice
carom seeds(Ajwain) as per taste
1 slice tomato finely chopped
9-10 spinach leaves finely chopped
salt as per taste

Mix all the ingredients together and leave aside for few minutes. Make the dosa in the same fashion as dosa on a hot griddle.
Serve it with condiments of your choice.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chilli-Lime Tofu with Spinach & Quinoa

I just fell for simplicity and nutritional content of this complete meal. I have mostly followed the recipe from here at monsoon spice. I must have made this meal atleast 4-5 times since I have known about this.

Miss. R can devour tofu in any form. This dish just gives us excuse to get more tofu in our meal. I just seared the spinach with a little EVOO in my favourite cast iron pan. To add more nutrition, I added edamame, red bell pepper to quinoa(Another all-time-fav. at our home) and just boiled it together without much fuss.

The thing that I like most about this meal is, it's a a very simple meal which can be assembled in 15-20 minutes after a busy weekday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Anniversary cake

Our 7th wedding anniversary was in April. With some special circumstances, we were not in great mood to celebrate it this year. I got a betty crocker vanilla cake mix. Baked the cake, but it looked so bland, so just whipped out something and the cake started looking good. I added some sugar and mango pulp to cream cheese. Put that on the cake as frosting and then decorated it with cut fruits. Mr. N is really into fruits, so I knew it was surely going to please him.

It was my parents' 31st anniversary yesterday and my lil sis miss.N pleased them with onion paratha, capsicum curry, salad, homemade pickle and butterscotch icecream. What a day..........
Being the lazy soul that I am, I should keep up my promises and plan a 5 course dinner for my mom. Some day mom, some day............
you have millions more anniversaries together..mamma and papa!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Apple Risotto

This recipe, which I am sure I saw it in one of the food network shows, but I have adapted it to our taste and did some modifications to add up some more nutritional value. I hope your little one enjoys it as much as my little one enjoys it.

1 granny smith apple(grated)
1 cup rice (any kind)
1/4 cup yellow moong dal
1 tsp flaxseed meal
8 ounces apple juice(kid's juice box)
a pinch of salt
1 tsp butter

Melt butter in a small pan. Saute grated apple, rice and dal mixture in the butter. Add flaxseed meal, apple juice, salt . Water or more juice can be added to adjust the consistency of risotto as per your choice.

If time permits, dal and rice can be toasted lightly to make it easier for digestion for kids. Elaichi/saffron can be added to make the risotto fragrant.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oatmeal Poha

The weather is so gloomy from past 1 week. With not much enthusiasm to eat something glorious, Pohe is decided for today's b'fast. Mr.N's mom makes fantastic Pohe, and after eating my Pohe, N decided not to eat it anymore. So after disappearing from our table for around 5 years, pohe is once again entering in our kitchen these days. But not really, it is not rice poha today, it's the glorified oatmeal taking Aloo-matar Poha's Avatar.

With empty kadhai in the dishwasher, I think it's a hit!!

1 red onion chopped
1 potato cubed
1/2 cup peas
2-3 cups oatmeal
3-4 green chillies
few drops of lemon juice

Heat oil in kadhai, splutter some curry leaves, green chillies. Cook onions, potatoes partially in this oil. Add soaked oatmeal, salt, green peas, lemon juice. Cover the kadhai for few minutes mixing in between till it is sure oatmeal is cooked properly.

I did not find lot of difference between Poha and oatmeal as per taste

Friday, February 6, 2009

weekend breakfast

Breakfast are a great deal in our home especially on weekends as we tend to make it as brunch on most days. Mr. N and Miss. R start their day with nice hot cup of ginger chai and if mood permits end up in kitchen with me to fix that day's meal.

One of the breakfast that I usually serve is boiled eggs with toast and hash. In my view, it is a well balanced plate covering most of the food groups. Being a finicky eater that she is, I am happy even if Miss. R finishes half of her plate.

I am posting the very easy recipe of hash here. Toast and boiled egg are self-explanatory.

This is also my entry to the "Show me your Breakfast" event hosted by Divya's Dil se.


1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium boiled potatoes
1 small onion
1 green bell pepper
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 small zucchini
few floweretes of broccoli
1 small grated carrot
2 tsp of hot sauce

Basically any blend of veggies can go in and the proportions are totally upto us. In my opinion, potatoes, onion and bell pepper are the basic building block of this dish. Roughly, I make one part of potato to 2 parts of veggies, to load up some nutrition.

Heat a large skillet with olive oil. Put all the veggies and cook them partially on high heat. When the veggies are half cooked , mix cubed boiled potatoes and dress it up with salt and hot sauce. Be careful with hot sauce, when kids are having it. I usually dress the veggie mix with some ketchup for Miss.R.

With a tummy full, enjoy your weekend!!!!