Namaste and a warm welcome to all.

As you can see my blog is about food and recipes. I love eating and trying out new recipes all the time.

Very often we mum's think of healthy and interesting food options that we can make for our kids especially when they are back from school knowing that their lunch boxes never come back home empty. Hence I always feel its important to give them a healthy and wholesome snack once they are home. When my kid comes home from school I always try and give him some source of carbohydrate combined with proteins along with this, a fruit and milk, or puddings made from milk. Kids normally can't eat too much at one time, so the portions can be small but giving them a little from each of these food group ensures a balanced meal.

I have some interesting ideas that I'd like to share with you all. You might find some of my recipes very basic but I am hoping that my blog is helpful not only for Indians but for people all around the world! Indian food is quite popular and enjoyed by most, so hopefully you can attempt recipes from here and make it yourself now, in your kitchen. Please do go through my recipes and give it a shot at trying them. Let me know how things turned out and if you enjoyed your experience of cooking.... Feel free to get in touch, share your experience, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have. Thank you for stopping by and taking a look! I do hope its helpful.

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Fried Arbi (Fried Taro root)

Normally when we buy Arbi (Taro root) there is a lot of soil stuck on the surface. Make sure to soak them in water and wash them well so to remove all the soil from its surface.

You can now either boil them till they are soft but not very mushy or pressure cook. If you pressure cook then just 1 whistle is good. Let it cool. Open the pressure cooker and peel off the skin.

Now keep all the arbi in a bowl and sprinkle salt and mix well with hand. Instead of salt you can also use chaat masala for a more tangy taste. After the salt or chaat masala (which ever you have used) has mixed well with the arbi, deep fry them in oil till golden brown and crispy. The reason you add salt/chaat masala now is because after you fry them, the salt will fall off and the arbi will taste saltless. Hence remember adding salt/chaat masala before you fry them.

Deep Fry:

Take them out and keep on a paper towel/tissue.

Once all the oil is soaked on the paper towel, add the following spices:
Red chilli powder
Dhanya powder (coriander Powder)
Aamchur powder (dry mango powder)

Mix all the arbi well with the above masala and serve with green coriander chutney. They can be eaten plain as well. If you prefer, you can cut the arbi into circular discs and then fry them, (or any shape you like eg - like french fries or small squares). It does not matter. They always taste great.

Its one of my favorites....

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Wash both the zucchini and carrot very well.

Grate the zucchini as shown below:

Put it in a container with very little water and salt (as per your taste). Let it come to a boil.

Once it comes to a boil, cover it and simmer on low flame for about 4-5 minutes.

The zucchini would have become soft as you can see now:

Allow the zucchini to cool completely. In the mean time grate the carrot. Do not grate and keep at the begining since the carrot will turn black.

Now add the grated carrot into the zucchini which has now come to room temperature.

Add the yoghurt.

Mix well and add 1/4-1/2 tspn roasted cumin powder (you can also add 1/4 tspn of chaat masala in addition to this)

And freshly crushed pepper:

Mix well.

Taste the raita and add salt as you may need some more. Finally garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

Wash the spinach well and chop it finely.  Boil it in water on medium flame. The water should just be enough so that the spinach does not burn or stick to the container while boiling. In other words water should be little. Boil for about 5 minutes or till spinach is soft.  Now let this cool. Once it is cool, beat yoghurt and pour it over the spinach. Now:
 Add salt
 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/4 tspn red chilli powder
1/4 tspn roasted sesame seeds (optional)

Spinach raita is ready and can be served cold.

Grate carrots. Beat yoghurt till it is smooth. Now add the grated carrots into the yoghurt. Mix well.

Roasted cumin powder (roasted jeera powder)
Finely chopped green chillies.

Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander. Serve cold.

Boil spinach as explained in the spinach raita recipe and then add it into the carrot raita.

Follow the same steps as in carrot raita and then add some grated cucumber into it. The amount of yoghurt you might want to add would be a little more since it has the extra cucumber so as to get a nice thick falling consistency of the raita.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander.

Grate Lauki. Boil for about 5 minutes with just enough water so that the lauki does not burn or stick to the container. Cool. Beat yougurt and pour over the lauki.

Now add:
Roasted cumin powder
Grated ginger or the squeeze out the juice of grated ginger into the lauki and yoghurt mixture.
Finely chopped green chillies
Finally garnish with fresh green coriander.

Take equal quantities of Lauki and carrot. Boil the Lauki (follow the lauki raita recipe). Then add the grated carrot into the Lauki raita. The yoghurt used here will be more than what is used in the Lauki raita.  Add the same spices in addition to salt.

Follow the same recipe as Lauki raita.

Try to make some of your own combinations with raitas. I always experiment with new combinations and so far they all have come out great.

Yogurt is easier to digest than milk.
It contributes to colon health.
It improves the bioavailability of other nutrients. Culturing of yogurt increases the absorption of calcium and B-vitamins. The lactic acid in the yogurt aids in the digestion of the milk calcium, making it easier to absorb.
It can boost immunity.
It aids in healing after intestinal infections.
It is a rich source of calcium and an excellent source of protein.
It can lower cholesterol.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Menu ideas.

On certain days I just don't know what to cook for my family. Hence I made a menu hoping that it may help me on days when I am totally blank. It gets easier to decide whats for lunch and dinner. Also you will see that most of my meals have a carbohydrate, a protein source and a green leafy vegetable/salad/raita so the meal is wholesome and a balanced one (ideally our kids should be having these kinds of combinations for their lunch and dinner). For the non vegetarians you can add chicken etc for your protein source. I hope this menu helps you and you can make your own combinations as well (basically mix and match in a way so that your meal has a carb, protein and a green leafy veggie). Also if you need a recipe from the menu list (that is not on the blog) let me know and I will share it with you all. Hope this is helpful. Please do give me your feedback/suggestions.

1) Chana Masala (see recipe) + Puri(see recipe)/Roti + Carrot Raita/Spinach Raita + Onion Kamchumbar (to go with the chole)

2) Rajma (see recipe) + Rice/Roti + Lauki and Carrot Raita.

3) Black eyed beans + Rice/Roti + Cucumber Carrot Raita/Salad.

4) Green Moong + Rice/Roti + Zucchini Raita/Salad/ Vegetable Soup.

5) Palak Paneer (see recipe) + Roti + Small black chana salad.

6) Paneer Burji made with capsicum (see recipe) + Roti + Spinach Raita.

7) Spinach Lentil (see recipe) + Rice/Roti + Raita/ Salad/ Vegetable Soup.

8) Toori Channe ki daal + Roti + Raita.

9) Lauki Channe ki daal + Roti + Raita/Salad.

10) Mutter Paneer (see recipe)/Malai Mutter Paneer (see recipe) + Roti + Raita.

11) Aloo Gobi(see recipe) + Roti + daal soup or dry daal salad eg: green moong salad.

12) Cabbage capsicum carrot sabji + Roti + Small black chana salad.

13) Daal Makhani (whole black urad daal mixed with little Rajma - kidney beans) + Roti + Raita.

14) Masoor daal (full or split) + Rice + Raita/Salad.

15) Veg. Pulao + yellow moong daal/any lentil or Rasam or Marwari yellow curry + Raita.

16) Masala Bhindi (see recipe) /Aaloo Bhindi + Roti + Small black chana salad/ Moong salad/ Paneer Tikka + Raita.

17) Aaloo Methi sabji + Roti + Dahiwada/ Green moong salad.

18) Tindli Sabji + Roti + Tandoori fried Tofu/Paneer Tikkas/ Lentil Soup.

19) Thepla or stuffed parathas + Capsicum or mirchi ki sabji + Dahiwada/ Moong bhajiyas/Raita.
Stuffed Parathas would include Aaloo paratha, Cauliflower Paratha and would go well with
curd and pickle.

20) Bhaigan Bharta (see recipe) + Roti + Lentil (daal) soup/ Moong salad.

21) Bhaingan coconut curry (see recipe) + Roti + Lentil (daal)soup/ Small chana salad.

22) Sindhi Curry (see recipe) + Rice + Curd.

23) Soya beans sabji + Roti + Spinach Raita.

24) Mutter mushroom + Roti + Raita/Salad.

25) Masala Mushroom curry + Rice + Salad.

26) Gawari Sabji + Roti + Lentil (daal) Soup.

27) Masala french beans with/without Aloo + Roti + Pan Fried Tofu(see recipe)/Paneer Tikka.

28) Kichri + Curry + Curd (One day keep it simple).

29) Daal Dhokli + Raita/Salad.

30)  Nutrela chunks/granule sabji + Roti + Raita.

31) Koftas Curry: Malai, Gawari Koftas, Lauki Koftas + Roti + Lentil Soup

32) Pav Bhaji (see recipe)+ Bread + Lentil Soup / Paneer Tikka.

33) Baked Beans + Bread + Salad.

34) Idli/Dosa + Sambar/Rasam + Coconut Chutney.

35) Whole Wheat Home Made Pizza (see recipe).

36) Toasties (Bell pepper toasties -see recipe) + Dahiwada.

37) Humus (see recipe) and falafel + Pita Bread + Salad.

38) Chinese Tofu and vegetable curry (Similar to Ma-po Tofu) + Rice + Pok Choy.

39) Egg Scramble(see recipe): made with/without Capsicum like paneer burji + Roti + Raita/Salad.

40) Egg Curry + Roti/Rice + Raita.

41) Tinda sabji + Roti + Lentil soup.

42) Split Mung Daal (see recipe) + Rice/Roti + Spinach Raita.

43) Chauli (long string beans) + Rice/Roti + Paneer tikka.

44) Sauteed Spinach (see recipe) + Roti/Paratha + Lentil Soup.

45) Sauteed Cauliflower (see recipe) + Roti/Paratha + Tandoori Paneer.

46) Methi Chicken Curry (see recipe) + Roti/Rice + Carrot-Cucumber Raita.

47) Tofu Coconut Curry (see recipe) +Roti/Rice + Spinach Raita.

48) Spinach and carrot rice (see recipe) + Dahi Vada (see recipe).

49) Bell pepper toasties (see recipe) + Lentil Soup

50) Makhani dal (see recipe) + Poori (see recipe) + Salad.

51) Chicken in Black Bean Sauce (see recipe) + Rice + Salad

52) Tuna Rice (see recipe) + salad.

53) Pancit Bihon Guisado: Stir fried noodles with vegetables (see recipe) + Pan fried Tofu.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Sindhi Curry

When there are too many veggies lying in your refrigerator and you dont know what to do with them then making Sindhi Curry is a healthy way to use them all up. Its one of my favorite dishes. Enjoy!

Ingredients: (for tempering)

2 - 3 Tablespoon oil
1 tspn Mustard seeds
2 tspn Cumin seeds
1 tspn grated ginger
1/2 tspn fenugreek seeds
1/4 tspn aesfotida (hing)
7-8 Curry leaves (Curry Pata)
2 dried red chillies (add the chillies a little later if you like since sometimes it can make you cough!)
1-2 chopped green chillies

Wash all the veggies and chop them into medium size make sure you dont chop them small or very small or they would disintegrate at the end when the curry is finally cooked. (Its important they maintain their shape but should be cooked well at the same time).

Radish (one of the main veggies that is used in Sindhi Curry, with the others you can use all or use any combination you like, you can also add veggies of your choice besides the ones mentioned here eg: peas, chopped onions, shallots etc)
Drumsticks (singhi)
Lady finger (washed and deep fry it and keep aside, to be added in the end when the curry is ready)
French beans
Guvar beans also called as cluster beans or Guar.
Cauliflower (cut into medium or slightly big florets).
I have used the leftovers in my fridge.

6 - 8 Medium or big Tomatoes (boil, remove skin and puree or you can also use ready tomato puree)
3 tbspn of ready tomato puree
Washed and chopped coriander (for garnishing).

Other ingredients:
1/4 tspn Turmeric
3-4 Tbspn Besan (chana dal atta- bengal gram flour)

Method: Step 1

Heat a pan. when the pan is warm add the bengal gram flour and keep stirring till you get a smell. (This is a typical smell and keep roasting on medium low flame to avoid burning). The flour should not change in colour or else it will soon burn. Once you start getting the smell roast for a minute or two more and then switch off the gas. Make sure your flour has not become brown.

We do not use any oil while roasting the flour, as it would otherwise soak up lots of oil. Hence dry roasting is a healthier option.

Remove from flame and let it cool. Try and break all the lumps into powder using the back of a spoon.

Once the flour is cool keep adding water in the dry roasted flour to bring it to a watery consistency as you can see above in the picture. Again make sure there are no lumps.

Method: Step 2

Heat oil in a big container, when the oil is hot add the mustard and fenugreek seeds first.  When you see them sputter then add all remaining ingredients listed above used for tempering.

 When you hear the sputtering sound add the watery flour mix you have made in the step 1. Add salt (according to your taste) and turmeric, stir well and now add all your veggies.

Stir it and let it come to a boil on a high flame. Once it comes to a boil, lower the flame (keep it on medium low) and let it simmer. You can cover it leaving very little open from the side.

Once the veggies are half cooked (make sure they are only half cooked and not fully soft - this takes about 25 - 30 minutes) add your tomato puree either home made by boiling tomatoes or the ready puree.

Stir well and again bring this to a boil. Now let it simmer on meduim low flame till the veggies are fully cooked and soft (about another 10 - 15 minutes). When the veggies are soft add the previously fried Lady finger.

An indicator for you to know that you have added the right amount of tomato puree is that the color of the curry will turn from yellow to a nice orange one. If it hasn't then you know that you need to add some more tomato puree.  The entire boiling time is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, basically till the veggies are well done but not very soft. Many a times I feel that cooking is more about judgement and sometimes there are no exact measurements. You just have to find your right taste and the right balance of all constituents.

Finally garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve with rice.
This is one of my favorites.  I enjoy the curry even without rice.....just like a stew.

He who enjoys good health is rich, though he knows it not.
- Italian Proverb