March 18, 2019

Pesto Pasta

Pesto Pasta

2 cups basil leaves
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp. Pine nuts/almonds/nuts of your choice
Salt to taste
Pepper powder 1 tsp
Olive oil - 1/3 cup 
Parmesan Cheese - 3oz
Pasta - 1 box (1lb)

Bell pepper, Onion, Mushroom, Spinach - Chopped

Mozzarella Cheese grated - 1 cup


1.  Mix all the ingredients for pesto in a food processor to mix well to a coarse paste and add olive oil and parmesan cheese.  ( I usually make a large batch of pesto in summer and freeze in ice cube trays and store in zip lock bags in the freezer for ready use)
2.  Cook pasta al dente for 11 minutes as per box directions.
3.  Saute vegetables in olive oil and set aside.
4.  Mix the pesto sauce in the pasta and add the sauteed vegetables.
5.  Finally top with mozzarella cheese and bake the pasta at 350F for 20 minutes till the cheese melts.

January 20, 2019

Almond Flour Dill crackers

Almond Flour Dill crackers

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond flour 
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Sea salt for topping 
  • Fresh chopped dill -1/2 cup
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Basil leaves - 1/2 tsp
  • Method:
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°
  • 2.  Add almond flour, water, flaxseed, chopped dill, pepper, dried basil and sea salt in a bowl and mix with hand it becomes crumbly.  Knead and make it to a dough
  • 3. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper and roll in with a second piece of parchment. 
  • 4.  Prick with a fork on top and sprinkle sea salt.
  • 5.  Cut to square pieces and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes till brown and done.
  • 6.  Let it cool and store in airtight container.

February 20, 2018

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

My daughter Nikita made this Cauliflower pizza crust adapting the recipe from the Food Network.

Cauliflower Pizza crust

Cauliflower - 1 big
Mozzarella cheese - 2 cups
Egg - 1
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Oregano, basil dried - 1 tsp
Toppings - sliced vegetables as desired
Pizza sauce  - as required

1.  Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor to make it rice consistency.
2.  Steam the cauliflower for about 5 minutes.
3.  Drain the water completely with a cheese cloth.
4.  Mix the beaten egg, a cup of mozzarella cheese, salt and seasonings.
5.  Put this dough and spread on a parchment paper on the baking sheet or pizza stone.
6.  Bake it at 425F for 15 to 20 minutes till golden brown.
7.  Remove the crust from the oven and top with mozzarella cheese and the choice of veggie toppings.
8.  Sprinkle pizza seasonings and bake for 10 more minutes till the cheese melts.

February 14, 2018

Strawberries dipped in chocolate

This is a very simple dessert which can be made in 10 minutes.  All you need is fresh strawberries and chocolate chips.

Strawberries dipped in chocolate

Strawberries - 20 medium size
Semi sweet chocolate chips - 1/2 cup
White chocolate chips - 2 tbsp
Coconut oil 1/2 tsp

1.  Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwavable safe cup.
2.  Mix well with a spatula.
3.  Dip the strawberries in the melted chocolate and place on a parchment paper.
4.  Melt the white chocolate with a dash of coconut oil and drizzle on the strawberries.

Rose Sandesh

Sandesh is a Bengali dessert made with paneer.  I tried this recipe for Valentine's Day adding rose flavor and color.
Rose Sandesh


Milk - 1/2 gallon
Vinegar/Lemon juice - 4 to 5 tsp to curdle milk
Sugar - 4 tbsp
Rose color and flavor
Saffron, pistachios and Rose petals - to garnish

1.  Boil the milk and curdle with lemon juice or vinegar.
2.  Strain the water with a cheese cloth
3.  When all the water has drained knead the paneer to make it to a smooth paste.
4.  Add sugar, rose flavor and color.
5.  Make balls, add saffron strands on top and steam for 10 minutes.
6.  Garnish with pistachios and rose petals.
7.  Cool it in the refrigerator before serving.

July 4, 2017

Orange Kulfi

This is orange flavor kulfi poured in orange peel and decorate with orange slices

Orange Kulfi

Condensed Milk - 1 cup
Evaporated Milk - 1 cup
Whipping cream whipped - 1/2 cup
Cool whip - 1/2 cup
Orange color - few drops
Orange essences - few drops
Orange cups from peeled oranges
Orange slices for decoration

1.  Whip the whipping cream.
2.  Add condensed milk, evaporated milk, cool whip, color and essence and gently fold in.
3.  Pour in orange cups and freeze for 5 to 6 hours.
4.  Decorate with orange slices.

April 23, 2017

Spinach Chakli

Chakli is a savoury snack made from rice flour, roasted gram dhal, black gram dhal and spices.  I used fresh spinach and green chillies to enhance the flavor.


Rice flour - 3 cups
Roasted urad dhal flour - 1 cup
Roasted gram flour - 3/4 cup
Asafoetida - a pinch
Fresh spinach - 3 cups chopped & blend 
Green Chillies - 5 or 6 depending on spice level
Butter - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil - to fry

1. Mix all the flours and add asafoetida and salt.
2. Add butter, blend spinach and green chillies and knead to a smooth dough.
3. Make spiral chaklis with the chakli maker.
4. Deep fry till done.
5. Store in airtight container.

April 6, 2017

Dates Holige

Inspired by Mane Holige of Gandhi Bazaar I tried this making dates holige.  Got some tips on this dessert from Udupi recipes

Dates Holige

For the dough
Fine semolina- 1/2 cup
All purpose flour- 1 cup
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- A pinch
Oil- 1/4 cup
Water- to mix
For fillingPitted Dates- 8 oz
Desiccated coconut- 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp

1. Take fine semolina, all purpose flour, salt and turmeric powder in a bowl.
2.  Combine everything adding water gradually to make a soft dough.
3.  Add some oil and knead.
4.  Put some oil on top of the dough and cover it and rest it for a couple of hours.
5.  Finally knead once again soft and loose dough.
1 . Blend the dates with as little water as possible.
2. Add coconut powder and blend dates cardamom and cook in a non stick pan.
3. When it thickens and leaves the pan turn off the heat and let it cool.
4.  When completely cooled make lemon size balls of the stuffing.
To assemble:
1.  Make balls of lemon size with the dough.
2.  Place the stuffing in the dough and seal it.
3.  Roll or press it to a thin disc of 5 inches on a plastic sheet.
4.  Transfer the rolled holige to a heated non stick skillet and cook on both sides on medium flame.
5.  When the brown spots appear they are done.
6.  Serve with ghee.

March 4, 2017

Carrot & Beets Crust Pizza

I tried making the pizza crust healthy by adding grated carrots and beets to add more veggies in the diet.  It was surprisingly very tasty.

Carrots & Beets Crust Pizza
Carrots grated - 1 cup
Beets grated - 1 cup
Bread flour - 2 cups
Salt - a tsp
Sugar - 3 tsp
Water - 1 cup
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Yeast - 3 tsp

Pizza Sauce -1 cup
Mozzarella cheese - 1 cup
Vegetables chopped - choice of bell pepper, onion, olives, mushrooms, jalapeno etc
Oregano & Basil leaves - to sprinkle

1.  Disintegrate yeast and sugar in luke water water.  The yeast will rise.
2.  Make a well in the flour  and add the yeast mixture.
3.  Gently add the grated veggies and salt and oil and knead to a soft pliable dough.
4,  Cover the dough with cling wrap or towel and keep in a warm place for a couple hours till the dough is double in size
5.  Punch down the down and stretch it and place on a pizza stone and let it rise.
6.  Apply pizza sauce generously.
7.  Cover with mozzarella cheese and drizzle some olive oil.
8.  Top with vegetables of your choice and bake in the over at 425F for about 15 to 18 minutes.

March 1, 2017

Methi (Fenugreek) Masala Bread

Methi (Fenugreek) is a herb and the seeds and leaves are used in Indian cooking.  This herb is highly beneficial to health and has medicinal value.  I tried to incorporate this in bread and the taste and flavor of this bread was amazing.

Methi Masala Bread


Yogurt - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 3 tsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Mexican cheese - 1/2 cup shredded
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric power - 1 tsp
Bread flour - 1 & half cups
Besan flour - 1/2 cup
Yeast - 2 tsp

To be added during the mixed bread cycle:

Onion medium - 1/2 chopped sauted in olive oil
Methi leaves - 1/2 cup cleaned
Cilantro leaves - 2 tsp chopped
Curry leaves - 2 strings
Green chillies - 2 chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch grated

1.  Add all the ingredients for the bread in the bread machine in the order given above.
2.  Set the bread machine to mix bread cycle.
3.  Start the bread machine.
4.  Make sure the dough is a soft elastic ball, if necessary add a tsp of flour if the dough is sticky or a tsp of oil if the dough is tight.
5.  When the machine beeps add the chopped onion, methi leaves, cilatntro, curry leaves, chopped green chillies and grated ginger.
6,  Cool completely when done and slice.

February 23, 2017

Avalakki (Poha/Flattened rice) Upkari:

Avalakki (flattened rice) upkari is a popular breakfast item or evening snack. It is served for breakfast with upma and banana.
Avalakki Upkari


Avalakki (Thin variety) - 2 cups
Powdere Jaggery or brow sugar - 2 tbspp
Red chilies - 2
Coriander seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds  1/2 tsp
Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 cup

Salt to tast

Olive/Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Asafetida - a pinch
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 strings
Coriander leaves - 2tbsp chopped


1.  Dry grin cumin seeds, coriander seeds and red chilies.
2.  Add the grated coconut to the poha and mix.
3.  Add the powered spices, jaggery/brown sugar, and salt.
4.  Head the oil, add mustard seeds and when it sizzles add asafetida, curry leaves, and turmeric powder.
5.  Pour the seasoning on the avalakki.
6,  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves.

February 20, 2017


Chakli is a popular savoury snack.  It is made with rice flour, roasted gram flour and urad dhal flour mixed with butter and spices.

Rice flour - 3 cups (preferably rice soaked, dried in shade and powdered)
Roasted urad dhal flour - 1 cup
Roasted gram flour - 3/4 cup
Asafoetida - a pinch
Cumin seeds - a tsp
Sesame seeds - a tsp
Butter - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil - to fry

1. Mix all the flours and add asafoetida, cumin seeds, sesame seeds and salt.
2. Add butter and water to mix  and knead to a smooth dough.
3. Make spiral chaklis with the chakli maker.
4. Deep fry till done.
5. Store in airtight container.

February 14, 2017

Beets Chapati & Mini puris

This year for Valentine's Day I tried making chapati with beets.  I steamed the beets and blend in the dough and later cutting into heart shaped pieces and infusing with the dough.  I also made mini puris.

Beet & Plain chapati

Beet Chapati

Beets Mini puris
Plain dough:

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Yogurt - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Water - to make dough

Beets dough:

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Small beet - ½ steamed
Green chillies - 1
Salt - to taste
Water - to make dough

Olive oil - for roasting chapatis

1.  Mix the ingredients for the plain chapati and make a soft pliable dough.  It should be elastic, soft and smooth dough easy to roll.
2.  Blend the steamed beets, and green chillies with very little water and add this to the other ingredients the wheat flour and salt.  Make a smooth and soft dough.
3.  Roll the beets chapati dough thin with a rolling pin and cut out the desired shape with a sharp knife.
4.  Roll the plain chapati dough to a cirle.  Place the cut out shapes of the beets chapati dough and gently roll so it fuses with the plain chapati.
5.  Place it on a hot griddle and cook.  Apply oil and cook and flip to turn to cook on the other side till there are golden brown spots.
6.  When it is cooked keep it covered in a container.

Beets Puri:

Beets dough
Oil to fry

Method for puris:
1.  Roll the beets chapati dough and cut to heart shape pieces and deep fry in olive oil

October 20, 2016

Mexican Corn Bread

Our family moved to Southern Maryland in 1997 but we lived there for less than a year before we moved to Northern Virginia.  During my time there I had the opportunity to work as the Curriculum Specialist at "The Seafarers Harry Lundeburg  School of Seamanship" for about six months.  This was the most fun job that I have ever had and it was a wonderful experience!  I enjoyed gourmet lunches every day as I updated the school's website with recipes, menus, and an online cookbook for chefs embarking on a seafaring career.  It was there I met the Director of Culinary Education, Chef Allen Sherwin who gave me so many recipes and tips on baking and cooking.  He gave me this recipe for Corn Bread and since then it has always been a family favorite!

Mexican Corn Bread

Corn meal - 1/2 cup
All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Eggs -2 whole
Butter melted - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Jalapenos  pepper diced - 2 tsp
Onion fine diced - 1/4 cup
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Red pepper diced - 1 tblsp
Corn fresh/frozen - 1/2 cup
Cheddar cheese - 1/4 cup

1.  Mix corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder together and sift.
2.  Mix eggs, milk, melted butter together.
3.  Saute jalapenos, onion, and red pepper with a tbsp of olive oil
4.  Mix all ingredients together.  Do not overmix.
5.  Bake in a greased pan or muffin tins at 425F for 20 to 30 minutes till toothpick comes clean.

August 14, 2016

Black forest Cake

Black forest cake is originally a German dessert literally "Black Forest cherry-torte".   It is a chocolate sponge cake with layers of light whipped cream and garnished with grated chocolate and cherries.  This recipe is the Indian eggless version which I had from awhile ago which I tried.


For the cake:
Condensed Milk - 1 can
Powdered Sugar - 1& 1/2 cups
All purpose flour - 2 &1/2 cups
Melted butter - 1&1/2 cups
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Coke - 1&1/2 tin

1.  Combine condensed milk, sugar, melted butter.
2.  Mix the all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder in a bowl and add to milk, sugar & butter.
3.  Add the  coke and beat on low till there are no lumps.
4.  Bake in 2 cake pans at 400F for about 20 minutes till toothpick comes out clean.
5.  Level the cake and let it cool.

For the Frosting:
Whipping cream - 12 oz
Powdered sugar - 6 oz
Chocolate grated - 
Simple syrup - 1 cup
Candied Cherries - a few

1. Beat the whipping cream and sugar with a hand whisk or kitchenaid mixer whisk attachment till it form peak.
2. To make simple syrup add 1/3 cup sugar and 2/3 cup water and boil.  As soon as sugar melts turn off the heat and cool it.

To assemble the cake:
1.  Drizzle the simple syrup on the cake.
2. Spread whipping cream like sandwich on the two sheets of cake.
3.  Using a star nozzle put the whipping cream on the top of the cake.
4.  Sprinkle with grated chocolate.
5.  Decorate with candied cherries.

August 10, 2016

Jackfruit Bread

Jackfruit has a distinctive sweet and fruity aroma.  I have tried many recipes with this fruit as I love the sweet and fruity aroma.  I tried making bread with it and it was a huge success with my family and friends.
Jackfruit Bread

Bread flour - 3 cups
Jackfruit - 10 pieces
Butter - 2 tbsp
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Skim milk - 1/2 cup
Brown sugar - 1/4 cup
Cardamom powdered - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Yeast - 3 tsp
Raisins - 3 tbsp
Chopped cashew and almonds - 3 tbsp


1.  Blend five pieces of jackfruit in milk.
2.  Add the blend jackfruit, coconut milk, butter, brown sugar, cardamom powder, salt in the bread machine.
3.  Add the bread flour and yeast.
4.  Start the bread machine in the mix bread cycle.  If necessary add a tsp of milk.
5.  In the meantime chop the other five pieces of jackfruit.
6.  Make sure the dough is smooth and elastic.
7. When the machine beeps add the chopped jackfruit, raisins, chopped nuts.
8. Cool completely and cut slices.

July 22, 2016

Guacamole Bread

Guacamole is a dip and made with avocado as the main ingredient.  The other ingredients used in this are onions, hot peppers, tomato, garlic, lime juice and cilantro. This Mexican recipe inspired me to experiment with guacamole flavor bread.

Guacamole Bread


Bread flour - 2 cups
Avocado - 1 ripe
Roma tomato - 1 small chopped
Onion - 1/4 of a medium size chopped
Cilantro - 3 tsp chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves crushed
Sour cream - 3 to 4 tsp
Jalopeño - 1 chopped
Salt - a tsp 
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Sundried tomatoes - 3 tsp
Lime - juice of half 
Avocado oil - 3 tbsp
Yeast - 2 tsp

Bread Machine Method:
1.  Place sour cream, tomato chopped, avocado scooped, salt, sugar, lime juice, pepper powder, avocado oil in the bread machine.
2.  Add the bread flour and yeast.  
3.  Start the bread machine in the mix bread cycle.  If necessary add a tsp of liquid.
4.  The dough should be smooth and elastic.
5.  In the meantime saute the onions in a tsp of oil.
6.  When the machine beeps add the onions, sun dried tomatoes, chopped cilantro, chopped Jalopeño.
7.  Cool completely when done and cut slices.

June 24, 2016


Sajjappa is a traditional Indian dessert.  My mom was an expert in making this dessert.  Unfortunately I did not get her recipe but I had seen her making it.  I am using my friend Uma's recipe.  She is an expert in making all kinds of savories and desserts.


For the outer layer dough:
All purpose flour - 1 and 1/2half cups
Melted hot ghee/oil - 2 tblsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Water - to make the dough

For the filling:
Semolina coarse variety - 1 cup
Fresh grated coconut - 3/4 cup
Dry coconut powder - 3/4 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup powdered or little more depending on the sweetness of
Cardamom powdered - a pinch

Oil - to fry Sajjappa

For the outer layer dough:
1.Mix all purpose flour, turmeric, salt and hot melted ghee/oil to make a crumbly texture and the ghee/oil is spread on the entire mixture.   Add water gradually.
2.  Knead well for about five minutes till it is a soft and pliable dough.
3.  Put a few tsps of oil on the dough and set it to rest for a couple of hours in a covered container.

1.  Roast the semolina for a few minutes so the raw odor is not there.
2.  Melt the jaggery in a wide vessel with a few tsp of water and when it melts strain the jaggery it to clean the dirt and boil a little and turn of the heat.
3.  Turn off the heat add the roasted semolina, fresh grated coconut, dry coconut, cardamom powder.
4.  Make lemon size balls with greased hands.  If it is sticky cook for a minute more.
5.  Cool completely.

Making Sajjappa:
1.  Heat the oil in a kadai on medium heat.
2.  Make lemon size balls from with the dough and flatten it on a plastic paper and keep the filling and make sure to seal the edges completely.
3.  Now flatten the dough with the filling inside to make sure the filling does not come out.
4.  It should be thicker 3 inch discs
5. When the oil is heated gently slide the sajjappas in oil and fry both sides till golden brown on both sides.
6.  Serve warm sajjappas.

March 17, 2016

Spinach Chappatis for St. Patrick's Day

Chapati is a flatbread made with whole wheat flour and cooked on a tava (skillet). March 17th is St. Patrick's Day and for this occasion I tried making shamrock patterns with chapati dough and spinach mixed chapati dough to make it festive.
Spinach Chapatis

Plain chapati:

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Yogurt - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Water - to make dough

Spinach chapati:

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Spinach - a handful 
Green chillies - 2
Ginger - 1 inch
Salt - to taste
Water - to make dough
Olive oil - for roasting chapatis

1.  Mix the ingredients for the plain chapati and make a soft pliable dough.  It should be elastic, soft and smooth dough easy to roll.
2.  Blend spinach, ginger and green chillies with very little water and add this to the other other of ingredients the wheat flour and salt.  Make a smooth and soft dough.
3.  Roll the spinach chapti dough thin with a rolling pin and cut out the desired shape with a sharp knife.
4.  Roll the plain chapati dough to a cirle.  Place the cut out shapes of the spinach chapati dough and gently roll so it fuses with the plain chapati.
5.  Place it on a hot griddle and cook.  Apply oil and cook and flip to turn to cook on the other side till there are golden brown spots.
6.  When it is cooked keep it covered in a container.

March 7, 2016

Custard Halwa

Custard halwa is a very easy to prepare dessert.  I adapted this recipe from my friend on the "Foodie" group.  

Custard Halwa


Custard powder - 1/2 cup (Vanilla flavor)
Sugar - 1 & half cups
Water - 2 cups
Ghee- 3 tbsp + 1 tsp for greasing
Cashew nuts - 12 chopped
Almonds - 6 coarsely powdered for garnish
Cardamom powder - a pinch


1. Take a pan, add in custard powder, sugar, and water. Stir well so no lumps are formed.
2. Keep stirring continuously on high heat till it is thick.
3. Add a tbsp of ghee and keep stirring..
4. After a few minutes add another tbsp of ghee and mix well.
5. It will get thick and not stick to the pan. Add in another tbsp of ghee.
6. When the halwa will leave the sides and the ghee oozes out add in chopped cashews, cardamom powder and mix well.
7. Spread the halwa on a greased pan and let it cool.
8. When it is set, invert the plate to a flat baking sheet or cutting board and cut to desired shapes.

February 14, 2016

Poha Chivda

Poha Chivda is a popular snack of Bangalore.  It is a healthy snack with a mixture of spices and nuts with sweet and spicy taste and easy to prepare.

Poha Chivda

Thin poha - 6 cups
Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup
Dry Coconut pieces - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 6 to 8
Roasted gram (chutney dhal) - 1/4 cup
Curry leaves - 6 strands
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 5sp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 3 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1/2 lemon
Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Chaat masala - 1tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Sesame - 1 tbsp
Coriander Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 1/4 cup

1.  Place the poha in the oven at 200 F for about two hours till crisp.
2.  Heat oil and roast peanuts, cashew nuts, dry coconuts pieces, roasted gram, raisins, green chillies till crisp, curry leaves separately.
3.  In the same oil add asafoetida, turmeric, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, and when is sputters turn of the heat and add chilly powder, salt, sugar, lemon juice, coriander cumin powder, garam masala powder, chaat masala powder.
4.  Add this to the poha and mix.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

January 27, 2016

Khara Bun

Khara buns is one of the specialities of Bangalore bakeries.  This recipe was adapted from plain buns from my baking class and I adjusted the measurements and ingredients to suit my taste.  Here is how I made the khara buns:


Bread flour -4 cups
Skim milk – 5 oz
Yogurt – 4 oz
Water – 1oz
Salt – 1tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Yeast – 3 tsp


Onion – 1 medium chopped
Ginger – ½ inch grated
Curry leaves – 4 strands chopped
Coriander leaves – ½ bunch chopped
Dill leaves – 3 tbsp (optional)
Green chillies – 3 to 4 chopped
Olive oil - 2 tbsp to sauté

1. Disintegrate yeast with a tsp of sugar in luke warm and rest aside.
2.   Add bread flour, salt, sugar, butter, skim milk, yogurt and the yeast mixture and knead well.
3. Cover the dough with saran wrap in a wide mixing bowl.
4. Rest in a warm place for about 4 hours till it doubles in size.  Alternatively, make the dough in the       bread machine with the above ingredients in the dough cycle.
5. Sauté the chopped onions, dill and mix the curry leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies.
6. When the dough is double in size punch it down and roll the dough.
7. Spread the filling and roll it.
8.  Make small balls and keep on a baking tray in a warm place for an hour till it doubles in size.
9.  Glaze the buns with milk and sugar mixture.
10.When the dough has risen fully bake it at 425F for about 20 minutes.

January 17, 2016

Quinoa Pathrode

Pathrode is a delicacy of Mangalore.  It is usually made with rice and Colocasia leaves.  I have tried this recipe by substituting quinoa  for rice and also used cabbage and spinach leaves.

Quinoa Pathrode


Quinoa - 1 cup
Spinach finely chopped - 1 cup
Cabbage chopped - 1 cup
Oil to saute - 2 tbsp

For Blending:
Fresh grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Red Chillies - 2
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1tsp
Brown sugar - 3 tbsp
Tamarind -1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 2 strands
Grated coconut to garnish

1.  Saute cabbage and spinach,  Mix it with quinoa.
2.  Blend coconut with red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, brown sugar and tamarind in 1 cup of water.
3.  Mix it to the quinoa and cabbage/spinach mixture and add salt and 1 cup of water and cook on the stove  till almost cooked.
4.  Spread this mixture in idli plates or steamer plate and steam for 15 minutes.
5.  Let it cool. Crumble the steamed patrode.
6,  Make a seasoning of oil with mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and saute the pathrode.
7.  Garnish with grated coconut.

March 21, 2015

Mangalore Bun

I had tried these Mangalore buns and goli bajji at a small restaurant called Mitra Samaj in Udupi. Ever since this has been on my mind.  The Indian cooking challenge for March is Mangalore buns.


All purpose flour - 1&1/2 cup
1 medium size ripe banana mashed
Yogurt - 3 to 4 tbsp
Sugar - 2-3 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - a pinch
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil to deep fry

1.  Peel, chop and mash the bananas and set aside.
2,  In a dish add the mashed bananas, all purpose flour, yogurt, sugar, cumin seeds, baking soda and 2 tsp oil.
3.  Knead to a soft pliable dough.  Do not add any other liquid.
4.  Cover and set in the refrigerator overnight.
5.  Knead slightly and make small lemon size balls.
6.  Roll it to 3-4" discs thicker than puris.
7.  Deep fry in hot oil and press the center to puff up,
8.  Turn and fry both sides till golden brown color.
9.  Serve with coconut chutney.

March 1, 2015

Vegetarian Chili

Chili is  a spicy soup with tomato beans and seasonings.  I tried making this dish with beans, corn, vegetables and Indian spices/seasonings and finally garnished with a dash of whipping cream.  The finished dish tasted amazing.

Vegetarian Chili


Kidney beans - 1 cup cooked
Sprouted moong dhal - 1 cup cooked
Chickpeas - 1 cup cooked
Black bean - 1 cup cooked
Sweet corn - 1 cup fresh/frozen
Onion - 2 big finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 big chopped
Tomatoes crushed - 1 can (28 oz)
Zucchini - 1 chopped
Red bell pepper - 1 chopped
Green bell pepper - 1 chopped
Spinach chopped - 2 cups chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch grated
Garlic - 1 clove crushed
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Whole cumin - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Whole methi (fenugreek seeds) - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1tsp
Garam masala powder - 1tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp or more as per taste
Salt - to taste
Whipping cream - to garnish
Olive oil - 8 tbsp


1.  Take 4 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add asafoetida, turmeric, mustard seeds and whole jeera.  When it starts crackling add crushed garlic, cumin powder, methi seeds, ginger grated and chopped onions.
2.  Sauté the onions till brown.  Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till it is soft.
3.  Add the cooked kidney beans, sprouted moong dhal, black beans and fresh/frozen sweet corn.
4.  Set in the slow cooker for 4 to 5 hours in low.
5.  In the meantime add the remaining olive oil to the chopped zucchini, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
6.  Add the coriander powder, garam masala powder, chilli powder, salt to taste to the chili in the slow cooker.
7.  Sauté chopped spinach in olive oil and add to the chili
8.  Just before serving add the roasted vegetables and garnish with whipping cream.

February 14, 2015

Chettinad Vegetable Biryani

The Indian Cooking Challenge for February is a spicy vegetable biryani which is a speciality from Tamil Nadu.  This recipe is adapted from Chettinad recipes but tailored to my taste.  This biryani is traditionally made with jeera samba rice but I used basmati rice.


Mixed Vegetables (Carrots, peas, beans, cauliflower, red bell pepper chopped ) -1 cup
Basmathi Rice- 1 and 1/2 cup
Small onions / shallots- 100 gms
Tomatoes large- 1 nos
Green chillies- 2 nos
Ginger grated - 1/2 inch
Red chilli powder- 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Mint leaves- 1/2 bunch
Coriander leaves (cilantro)- 1/4 bunch
Cashew Nuts- 20 nos
Ghee- 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water- about 2and half cups

Masala tempering
Bay leaves- 1
Cinnamon stick 1" piece- 1
Cardamom- 2 nos
Cloves- 6 nos
Marati moggu- 1 no
Star Anise- 1 no
Oil- 3 -4 tbsp

Method:1,  Take 2 tbsp oil in a pan and saute bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, marati moggu, star anise and set aside.
2.  Fry cashew nuts till golden brown and set aside for garnishing.
3.  Fry onions, green chillies add grated ginger.  Add chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves and chopped vegetables
4,  Finally add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder,red chillli powder and salt.
5.  Add water about 2 and half cups and let it boil.  Stir in the rice and vegetables and cook covered or in rice cooker. 
6. Add ghee and garnish with cashew nuts and red bell pepper.
7.  Serve with tomato and onion raita.

January 21, 2015

Kanchipuram Idly

Idly is a traditional South Indian breakfast.  For Kanchipuram idly the batter is seasoned with spices, corriander leaves, curry leaves, ginger and tastes delicious.


Idly rice - 3 cups
Urad dal - 1 cup
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste


Ghee - 2 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing - a pinch
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 strands chopped
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Cashewnuts - 20 halves

Soaked channa dhal - 2 tsp
Chopped coconut pieces- 2 tsp
Corriander leaves - 2 tsp chopped
Grated ginger - 1 inch
Green chillies - 1 or 2


1.  Soak rice and urad dhal separately for 5 to 6 hours.
2.  Grind urad dhal till soft and fluffy and rice a little coarse.
3.  Mix both the batters and set aside to ferment overnight.
4.  When ready to make the idlys add half cup of yogurt add salt to taste.
5.  Add soaked channa dhal, chopped fresh coconut pieces, green chillies, corriander leaves and grated ginger to the dough.
6.  Make a seasoning with 2 tsp ghee and add asafoetida, cumin seeds, curry leaves, black pepper, cashewnuts.
7.  Add the seasoning to the batter.
8.  Pour the batter in idly moulds or plates and steam it for about 15 minutes.
9.  Serve with chutney or sambar.

October 26, 2014

Kaju Katli (Cashew Burfi)

Kaju Katli is an Indian dessert which means cashew fudge.  This dessert is made traditionally during Diwali.


Cashew nuts - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Milk - enough to blend
Ghee/unsalted butter - 2 tbsp.
Rose essence - few drops (optional)

1.  Blend cashew nuts with just enough milk to blend.
2.  Put the blend mixture and sugar in an anodized or non stick pan and cook.
3.  Keep stirring continuously with a wooden ladle for about 25 to 30 minutes.
4.  The mixture will start leaving the pan and form a ball.
5.  Add the ghee/unsalted butter and stir it. 
6.  Keep a greased cookie sheet or plate ready.
7.  Spread the mixture on the greased sheet and roll it.
8.  Cut to desired shapes and sizs.

September 14, 2014


The Indian Cooking Challenge for August is Badusha.  This is also called Balushahi in North India.  This dessert is prepared during Diwali festival and Durga Pooja.  This dessert is made of all purpose flour and deep fried and then dipped in sugar syrup. 


For the Dough
All purpose flour / Maida - 1 cup
Baking soda 1/4 teaspoon 
Baking powder 1/8 teaspoon
Unsalted Butter cold cut into small pieces- 1/4 cup 
Yoghurt - 1/4 cup 
Oil for deep fry

For Syrup
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1/3 cup
Cardamom powder a pinch 

For Garnish
Sliced pistachios - a few

Method for Badusha dough :

1.  In a wide bowl mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
2.  Add butter mix and the it should be crumbly.
3.  Now add the curds slowly as needed making into soft dough. Do not knead the dough.
4.  Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for about half an hour.
5.  Take the dough and knead just enough to hold it together.

To make the Syrup

1.  In a wide sauce pan add water, sugar medium heat, bring it to a boil.
2.  Let it simmer until syrup is almost to one thread. Add the cardamom powder and set it aside.
3.  This can be done just before making the Badusha during the half hour resting period.

To fry the Badusha:

1.  Divide the dough into 12 equal balls
2.  Make the dough balls, flatten it down on your palm, make a deep dent in the center of the ball.
3.  Heat the oil in a Kadai, and keep the flame on low heat. 
4.  The oil should be hot, but not smoking hot at the same time.
5.  Check for right heat by dropping in a tiny dough.
6.  When the oil sizzles, you can gently drop in the balls.
7.  Fry in batches and turn over and cook till it browns. The balls should be golden brown on both sides. 
8.  Once done, drain on to a kitchen towel, and keep it for few mins.
9.  Dip the fried balls in the sugar syrup and remove them right away. Do not leave them in the syrup.
10. Garnish with chopped pistas and serve hot. 

August 6, 2014


Kootu is a Tamil word which means"add".  Vegetables and lentils are combined with spices and the consistency is thicker.


To Roast:
Urad Dhal - 1 tsp
Red Chillies - 2 or 3
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 3 strings

Chopped Carrot, beans, Surti papdi, chayote squash - 3 cups

Toor dhal - 1/2 cup
Raw peanuts - 1/4 cup
Dry coconut powder -1/4 cup
Salt to taste

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 2 strings

1.  Roast urad dhal, red chilies, black pepper, poppy seeds, curry leaves and blend with dry coconut and set aside.
2. Pressure cook toor dhal and peanuts.
3.  Steam vegetables.
4.  Add blend mixture to the cooked toor dhal and peanuts and add vegetables.
5.  Add salt to taste and boil.
6. Finally make a seasoning of mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves and pour on the kootu.
7. Serve hot.

July 15, 2014

Manapparai Murukku

The Indian Cooking Challenge for June is classic traditional snack, the famous Murukku.  These murukkus are from a town down Tamil Nadu called Manapparai.  The recipe source is from "The Hindu" newspaper.  This murukku has a unique taste as the water in Manapparai is uniformly salty and gives the murukku its distinctive flavor.


Rice flour - 2 cups
Urad dhal roasted and powdered - 4 to 5 tbsp
Cumin seeds, sesame, ajwain- 1 tsp each
Asafoetida: A pinch
Salt - to taste
Water - to mix the dough
Oil -to deep fry
Butter - 2 tbsp

1.  Mix all ingredients with rice flour and urad dhal flour.
2.  Add water little by little, kneading into a thick batter. 
3.  Fill it into the murukku maker (with round holes) and rotate to form coils. S
4.  Fry in medium heat till crisp.
5. Store in airtight containers.

April 14, 2014


The Indian cooking challenge for March is Mohanthal is a Gujarathi dessert.  This is made with roasted besan flour, ghee, and sugar.  It is sweetened gram flour fudge.  

Ingredients Needed:

Besan Flour - 1 cup ( coarse variety)

Ghee - 1/2 cup

Milk - 2 tbsp

Sugar - 1 cup
Mawa - 1/2 cup
Cashew - 10 chopped
Almonds - 10 sliced
Pistachio - 15 (finely cut)
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp 


1.  Sieve the flour in a bowl and mix with ghee and rub well with hands. 
2.  Slowly add the milk and keep it covered for 20 mins.
3.  In a pan, take half. A cup of water and sugar. Make one thread syrup and add half of the chopped nuts.  Remove and keep it aside.
4. Heat a heavy bottom pan. Add the remaining ghee, flour and mawa. Keep stirring till you get a roasted aroma from the flour. Now add the mawa and mix well.
5. After the mixture is combined well, add the sugar syrup and cook for about 6 - 7 mins.
6. When  the mixture  leaves the sides, it is ready to be removed. Pour this on the greased plate. Sprinkle chopped nuts over it and cut into small serving pieces.

March 24, 2014

Chickpea and Beetroot Salad

Inspired by Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe tailored to my taste.

Chickpea and Beetroot Salad           
Beets boiled peeled and cubed - 1 medium
Onion - 3 tbsp
Tomato - 1 small chopped
Mint leaves - 2 tsp chopped
Chickpeas boiled - 1 cup
Spinach - 2 cups fresh
Salt - to taste
Black Pepper powder - to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Sesame t- 1 tbsp

1.  Saute spinach in a tbsp of olive oil
2.  Chop onion, tomato, mint leaves and mix with chickpeas,
3.  Add salt, pepper and lemon juice.
4.  Add salt to the boiled and cubed beets.
5.  Before serving arrange the spinach leaves and lightly mix the beets with chickpeas, onion, tomato mixture.
6.  Toast the sesame seeds in a tsp of olive oil and mix.
Beetroots,boiled and peeled2 medium

Iceberg lettuce leaves8-10

Spring onions with greens,sliced1

Onions,chopped3 tablespoons

Green chillies,chopped1 teaspoon

Tomato,finely chopped2 tablespoons

Fresh mint leaves,finely chopped1 tablespoon

Chickpeas (kabuli chana),boiled5 tablespoons

Juice of 1 lemon

Saltto taste

Black pepper powderto taste

Extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon

Roasted sesame seedsfor sprinkling

- See more at:

March 7, 2014

Gajar Halwa

Gajar Halwa is also known as Carrot Halwa is a famous dessert in India. It is made by placing grated carrot in a pot with, milk, sugar, ghee and then cooking while stirring regularly. It is   served with a garnish of desired nuts.


Carrots - 4 to 5 medium ( 2 cups grated)
Sugar - 3/4 cup (increase per your taste)
Evaporated Milk - 12 oz
Ghee - 5 tbsp
Cardamom powdered - a pinch
Saffron - a pinch
Borneal (edible camphor) - a pinch
Cashew nuts sliced - about 10-15

1.  Grate carrots.
2.  Add the grated ashkin to evaporated milk and cook till it is condensed.  Alternatively, use slow cooker for this step.
3.  After the milk is condensed add sugar to the cooked carrots, saffron, cardamom, borneal and ghee.
4.  Cook till all the ghee is absorbed.
5.  Garnish with sliced cashew nuts.

February 16, 2014

Marbled Za'atar Bread

Za'atar a Middle Eastern spice made from the dried herbs, mixed with sesame seeds, dried sumac, and often salt, as well as other spices. Used in Arab cuisine, both the herb and spice mixture are popular throughout the Middle East.  Having tried this spice on flat bread in Mediterranean Bakery I wanted to try making bread with this. 

Marbled Zatar Bread

Bread flour - 3 cups
Skim milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 3 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Butter - 1 tsp
Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Yeast - 3 tsp

Za'atar spice - 3- 4 tbsp mixed in 3 tsp of olive oil

1.  Make sure the milk, butter, yeast are all at room temperature.
2.  Disintegrate the yeast in a tsp of sugar with luke warm water.
3.  Mix the bread flour in skim milk, disintegrated yeast, salt, butter and olive oil.  This can be done either by kneading by hand/ or in the kitchen aid mixer/food processor/bread machine dough cycle.
4. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and set in a warm place for a few hours till it is double in size.
5.  Punch the dough and place of a lightly floured surface.
6.  Roll the dough about 3/4 inch thick and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
7.  Take the mixture of zaatar spice mixed in olive oil and spread it over the dough.  Leave a border of 1/2 inch.
8.  Roll up the dough and tuck the ends and place in a prepared bread pan.
9.  Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes  or until the dough has risen more than double in size.
10. Preheat the oven to 425F.
11. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the top with olive oil and make light cuts on top with a knife.
12. Bake for 25 -30 minutes till the bread is golden.
13. Cool before slicing the bread.

February 9, 2014

Mini seasoned idlis

Idli is a very popular South Indian breakfast dish. This recipe is a twist to the regular idli and is tempered with spices.

Mini seasoned idlis
Mini idlis - 70 (or 16 regular idlis)
Salt to taste

Olive oil - 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch

Black dram dhal (urad) - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 strands
Black pepper crushed coarsely - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilly - 1
Cashew halved - a handful

Chutney powder - 4 tsp or as per taste
Lemon juice -  tbsp
Cilantro leaves chopped - 2 tbsp

1. Make 4 plates of mini idlis in the steamer or cut the regular idlis to cubes.
2. Take out of the mould and cool it completely.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add olive oil, asafoetida, mustard seeds, cumin seeds.  When the mustard seeds crackle add the urad dhal, curry leaves, crushed black pepper, red chilli and cashew nuts.  Saute.
4. Add the cooled idlis to the pan and toss gently.
5. Finally add the chutney powder and mix.  Adjust salt if necessary.
6. Add the lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
Add asafoetida, curry leaves, mustard seeds to the oil. When the seeds splutter, - See more at:
Add asafoetida, curry leaves, mustard seeds to the oil. When the seeds splutter, - See more at:

February 3, 2014

Hirekai Dosa (Ridge gourd pancake)

Dosa is a common breakfast dish.  Though dosa typically refers to the version made with rice and lentils, many other versions exist, often specific to an Indian region.This dosa is typical to South Kanara region.

 Ridge gourd -1 (skin peeled and sliced)
1 cup – long grain rice (raw)
1/4 cup – fresh or frozen coconut grated
2 – dried red chillies
1 tsp – cumin seeds
Jaggery or brown sugar – 1 tbsp
Tamarind – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

1. Soak rice overnight
2. Blend rice with fresh or frozen grated coconut, red chillies, cumin seeds, jaggery or brown sugar, tamarind, and salt.
3. Heat the skillet.
4. Spread a tsp of oil on the skillet and arrange the sliced ridge gourd.
5. Pour the dosa batter on the skillet and spread evenly.
6. Keep the heat medium to high.
7. Put another tsp of oil to cook, cover the skillet.
8. Flip the dosa and cook on the other side.
9. Serve dosa with or without chutney.