Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kadai Paneer

(From Banu's Cookbook)


2 Cups of Chopped Paneer
1 Medium Sized Onion - Chopped Fine
3-4 Roma Tomatoes Chopped 
1-2 - Capsicum (Green Bell Pepper) - Chopped
3 Tsp of Dry Corriander Seeds
5-6 Red Chillies (or more according to taste)
2 Tsp of Jeera Powder
2 Tsp of Garam Masala
Jeera for Seasoning
Oil for Sauteeing

1. Pan fry the Paneer cubes with little bit oil. Keep it aside.
2. In a pan dry roast corriander seeds and red chillies together. Grind them into a smooth paste with tomatoes.
3. Heat some oil in a pan and add some jeera seeds. Then add chopped onions and sautee until brown. Then add the ground tomato paste and saute for some more time until the raw smell of tomato is gone.
4. Then add the chopped capsicum, Jeera powder and garam masala and fry for a few minutes. We do not want to over cook the bell pepper. Then add the paneer pieces, salt and cook for some more time until paneer absorbs some of the masala.
6,. Kadai Paneer is now ready to be served with either Rice or Chapathi.

Easy Kulfi

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 12 oz Can of Evaporated Milk
1 14 oz Can of Condensed Milk
1 8 oz Can of Cool Whip
3 Slices of White Bread
2-3 Tsp of Cardamom Powder
2-3 Tbsp of Mixed Nuts Coarsely powdered (Cashew nuts, Pistachios and Almonds)

1.  Thaw the Cool Whip or defrost it in the microwave.
2. Cut the brown edges of the bread and then powder the three slices of bread in a food processor. Food processor works better than blender to dry powder the bread slices.
3. In a big mixing bowl, add the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cool whip and bread powder/crumbs and mix well. I use a hand mixer for this. You have to beat/mix the mixture until you start seeing air bubbles. That is what indicates that it has all blended together. Also you should not be able to see the white cool whip. Everything should be mixed well together.
4. Now add the cardamom powder and mix again.
5. Pour this mixture into a glass pan or into individual molds or cups. Sprinkle the coarsely ground nuts on top of this and then freeze it overnight. Make sure that it is covered to avoid freezer burn.
6. I just pour into rectangular class pan with  lid and when ready to serve, I just cut it into pieces.

1. I use fat free evaporated and condensed milk and also either lite, fat free or sugar free cool whip and it turns out the same.
2. I use Mrs.Bairds white sandwich bread. Bread is what provides the texture and binding. So do not skip the bread and the finer you can powder it, the better.
3. You can use Almond essence instead of cardamom powder or vanilla essence. You can even add Mango Puree to this to get different flavors of kulfi

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wheat Flour Dosa

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 Cup - Wheat Flour
1 Cup - Fine Sooji (Chiroti Rave)
1/4 Cup - Grated or powdered Jaggery
4-6 - Green Chillies - Chopped
1 inch - Ginger Chopped
1 small bunch of Corriander Leaves - Chopped Finely
3-4 Tbsp - Fresh grated coconut
1-2 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder
Sour Yogurt or Buttermilk
Salt to Taste

 1. Sieve Wheat flour and fine sooji together with salt.  Add yogurt to it and mix it well without any lumps.
2. Add jaggery,  salt, red chilli powder and mix well. Also add the chopped ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves and coconut and mix well. Add some water if needed.
3. The batter must be soft but thicker than dosa batter.
4. Heat a pan and spread the batter with a spoon, since it is a thicker batter and a bit hard to spread thin, I make it into smaller diameter dosa.
5. Add some oil and cook well on both sides.
6. Serve it hot with chutney or pickle.

This is a very typical Havyaka Dish called "Ele Holige". I had really missed this and thanks to my Uncle for reminding me about this.

1. Jaggery adds a bit of sweetness to this dosa, if you do not like it, you can skip it.
2. You can add a few table spoons of rice flour to make the dosa a bit crispy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Langar" wali Moong Daal

(From Banu's Cookbook)

We were at Gurudwara the other day and they had made this awesome Daal for Langar (Community Meal). I just fell in love with this Daal. I did research this on the Internet and this recipe is not exactly like any of those. I just took some tips and made my own recipe.

1 Cup - Green Whole Mong Daal
1 Cup - Black Whole Urad Daal (Chilkewali Urad Daal)
1/4 Cup - Channa Daal
1 Big Red Onion - Chopped Finely
4 Medium Roma Tomatoes - Chopped Finely
1 Tbsp - Ginger Garlic Paste
2-3 Bay Leaves
2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
3 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
3 Tsp - Roasted Cumin Seeds - Powdered
1 Tsp of Garam Masala
1/4 Cup of Finely Chopped Cilantro
Salt to Taste

1. Dry roast the cumin seeds and powder it into a fine powder.
2. Wash and Soak all the daal together for at least 6 hours or over night.
3. Cook the soaked daals in pressure cook with 1 tsp of oil and turmeric powder. Cooking time depends on the pressure cooker you have. You want the daal to be cooked but not totally mashed. If you are doubtful, you can cook it on stove top, it takes probably about 30 to 40 mins to cook.
3. In a separate pan, heat some oil. Add Cumin Seeds and Bay leaves for seasoning. Add the finely chopped red onion and cook well for 7-8 minutes. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a few more minutes.
4. Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 mins or so until the tomatoes are soft. Do not add any water other than the tomato juice that was part of the chopping.
5. Add a bit more turmeric powder, red chili powder and the roasted cumin powder at this point. Mix well and cook for a few more minutes.
6. Add this onion tomato masala to the cooked Daal (if your cooked Dal has lots of extra water, remove some of it first before you add the paste), add salt to taste and let it boil for some time until everything has blended well together.
7. Add the chopped Coriander Leaves and mix it well.
8. Switch off the heat, add the garam masala powder just on the top and cover the vessel with a lid and let the garam masala powder be absorbed slowly into the Dal.
9. Stir well before serving it.

Notes: All the langarwali daal recipes on the Internet called for just the mixture of black urad daal and Channa daal. I was not sure if I would like that and plus the daal that I had eaten felt like it had some green moong daal in it. So, I choose this combination of daal. But please do let me know if you try some other combination.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Carrot Halwa (Pudding)

(From Banu's Cookbook)

2 Big Carrots Grated - This is about 1/2 to 2 Cups of Grated Carrot
1/2 Cups of Milk (I used non fat milk)
1/4 Cup of Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp of Cardamom Powder
3 Tbsp of Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Nuts for Garnishing - I used Slivered Almonds and Pistachios

1. Boil the Milk in a non stick or heavy bottomed pan on medium heat until it starts boiling well and reduces a little bit. I do not really reduce it to half or anything. As long it is boiling completely and it looks a bit reduced that should be good enough.
2. Heat another non stick pan or heavy bottomed pan, put 2 tbsp of Ghee in it and the grated carrots and saute them for 7-8 minutes until the carrots get slightly tender. You can see a bit of color change in the carrots at this point of time.
3. While I was sauteing the carrots, I kept the milk boiling on low heat. Then I added the hot milk to the sauteed carrots and cooked them on medium low heat. Stirring quite a bit so that it does not stick to the pan.
4. This takes about 15 min or so to cook and all the milk to be absorbed. If you reduce the milk quite a bit in the first step then this cooking time is reduced as well. But I like the carrots to cook a bit longer in the milk as it gives it a more of creamy texture and taste.
5. Once all the milk has been absorbed, add the sugar and cardamom powder and cook for a few more minutes. Approximately 5 minutes. You can see that the mixture will start leaving the side of the pans and that is when you know it is done.
6. Roast the pistachios and slivered almonds in the remaining ghee and add it to the Halwa and Halwa is ready to be eaten. This can be served hot or cold. I personally prefer it hot. :)

Hope you get to try this and let me know your comments and suggestions.

1. I prefer to use a steel vessel with double lined bottom to boil milk with near continuous stirrings rather than non stick pan. But again that is just my personal preference.
2. Also it is better that you keep a separate non stick pan and wooden spoon for sweet dishes and do not use them for savory dishes. Because how much every you wash them, there can be traces of sourness or spiciness in the vessel that can spoil a sweet dish.
3. You can also use butter instead of ghee. It is just personal preference. Both of them give the same end result.
4. You can also use Cashew Nuts for Garnishing.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Peas and Carrot Paratha (flat bread)

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas and Carrots (You can use fresh as well)
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1/2 Tsp of Garam Masala
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
Salt to Taste
Less than half cup of warm water
Oil for Cooking

1. Thaw the frozen peas and carrots and put some water and cook it in microwave for about 4 mins or so. Drain it and keep it aside.
2. Heat about 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan and saute the peas and carrots. Add a pinch of salt, cumin, chilli powders and also the garam masala. Saute for a few more mins.
3. Add the flour, turmeric powder, salt to taste, 1 tsp of oil and the sauteed peas and carrots mixture and make it into a dough by adding warm water. Add water slowly and little bit because there is already moisture due to the peas and carrots.
4. Roll out the dough like regular chapathi and cook into the tawa with some oil. Cook well on both sides on medium flame.
5. Serve it with some Raita.

Here are some pictures I took of making of the paratha,

Please let me know if you happen to try this recipe. Any comments and critiques are welcome.

Note: You can make most of the dough and just before removing it add the sauteed peas and carrots and pulse it once. This way you can actually see the carrots and peas - if you happen to like that.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Instant or Easy Kaju (Cashewnut) Burfi

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 Cup Whole Raw Cashew (unsalted)
3/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp of Fat Free Milk Powder
3 Tbsp of Milk
3 Tbsp of Butter

1. Grind the Cashew nuts into a smooth powder. I found out that food processor works the best for this.
2. Melt the butter slightly in the microwave.
3. In a microwaveable dish, mix all the ingredients and make sure there are no lumps in the mixture.
4. Heat the mixture in Microwave for 1 minute. Take it out and stir it well. You should see some bubbles at this stage. Do not worry if you do not.
5. Put the mixture back in the microwave and heat for another 1 minute. Take it out and stir it well again.
6. Now put it back in the microwave for the last minute. Here you might want to keep an eye to make sure that it is not burning.
7. Pour the mixture into a well greased plate - keep it about 1/4 to 1/2" thick. Cut them into squares when slightly cooled. You can also decorate them with small pieces of cashew nuts. I just decided to leave them plain.

I hope you get to try this and let me know how it turns out.

1. You can use Khova instead of Fat Free Milk powder for more richer texture and taste.
2. You can also replace the sugar with Sugar and Splenda mix as well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Orange Peel Chutney

(From Anuradha B Rao's Cookbook)

Peel of 7-8 small Oranges (cuties, tangelos etc)
3 Tsp of Tamarind Paste
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
6-7 Red Chillies
1 Cup of Fresh Grated Coconut (I used Frozen Coconut Defrosted well)
1/2 Tsp Ural Daal for Seasoning (Split Bengal Gram Daal)
1/2 Tsp of Mustard Seeds for Seasoning
Oil for Seasoning
Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
Salt to Taste

1. Pressure cook the Orange Peel with Tamarind paste, Turmeric Powder and Salt in the pressure cooker for just 1 minute. If you do not have a pressure cooker, just cook them in an open pan until the peel is soft.
2. Dry Roast the Red Chillies.
3. Grind into a smooth paste the boiled Orange Peel, Roasted Red Chillies and Fresh Coconut.
3. Heat oil in a small pan, add Mustard seeds and Urad daal. Once they splutter, add it to the ground chutney.
4. Enjoy it with Hot Rice.

Due to the coconut that is present in this recipe, this is suitable only for South Beach Diet Phase 2.

Thanks for stopping by. If you do try this, please leave your comments and inputs on this recipe.

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Mint and Avocado

(From Banu's Cookbook)

This is a variation of my own inspired from the salad recipe from Kayln's Kitchen.

1 Large Cucumber or 3 Small Mini Seedless Cucumbers - Chopped into quarter pieces
2 Medium Roma Tomatoes or 1 Big Cup of Cherry Tomatoes - Chopped
1 Avocado
2 Tbsp or more of Chopped Cilantro
1 Tbsp of Chopped Mint
Lemon Juice
1 Can of Red Kidney Beans (Rinsed and Drained)
1/4 tsp of Chipotle Chilli Pepper powder
Salt to Taste
Black Pepper
Some spicy peanuts for topping

1. Chop the Avocado and add lemon juice to it.
2. Mix the chopped cucumber and red kidney beans well. To this add the chopped tomatoes and avocado and mix gently.
3. Add salt, black pepper, chopped cilantro, mint and chipotle chilli pepper powder and mix gently.
4. You can serve it topped with some Peanuts as I did. This is optional.

This recipe can be used in South Beach Diet Phase 1.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Palak Paneer Pulao

(From Banu's Cookbook)

2-3 Cups of Pre Cooked Basmati Rice
4-6 Cups of Fresh Spinach
2-3 Green Chillies
2-3 Garlic Cloves - Chopped Fine
1 Small Onion - Chopped Fine
1 Cup of Paneer Cubes
1 inch piece of Cinnamon Sticks (Dalchini)
2-4 Whole Cloves (Lavang)
5-6 Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
2-3 Whole Green Cardamom (Tej Patta)
2 Tsp of Garam Masala
Salt To Taste
Oil for Frying

1. Wilt the Spinach in very little water along with the green chillies. Once this is cooled, blend it into a paste in the blender.
2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the Cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and Cardamom. Saute these for a while until they turn brown and you start smelling them.
3. Add the Chopped onions and garlic and saute them well until the onion gets slightly browned. Do not burn them, just a bit brown.
4. Add salt and Garam Masala and cook for a few more minutes. Add the chopped Paneer pieces, reduce the flame to medium and cook until you feel that the paneer pieces are cooked and lightly browned.
5. At this point add the Spinach Puree and some more salt and cook for a few minutes until you see the whole mixture mixed together well.
6. Add the cooked rice to this mixture and mix well. Let it cook for a few minutes on low flame.
7. Take it off fire and serve it hot either with Raita or chips.

1. You can use frozen spinach instead of Fresh one.
2. You can even use pre sauteed paneer cubes - if you do so, do not saute them much after you add them to the onion mixture, else it will get very hard.
3. You can also add some red chilli powder along with Garam Masala if you want it more spicy.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did and let me know your comments if you do try it. When I was cooking this, I was wishing if I could capture the aroma of it..:))

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Enchilada Verdes with spicy guacamole

(From Raghu Jana's Cookbook)

1) This is in no way an authentic Mexican enchilada. It is a home-brew version of it which we like.
2) There are no set measurements for any of the portions. They can be varied to individual taste.

1 Green Bell Pepper- Chopped Finely
1 Small Can of Sweet Corn (No Salt Added) - Drained and Washed
1 Small Onion - Chopped Fine
2 Roma Tomatoes - Chopped Fine
1/4 Cup of Cilantro - Chopped Fine
1 Tsp of Oregano
1 Tsp of Rosemary
1/4 Cup of Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella and Pepper Jack Blend)
1-2 Avocados
2-3 Thai Chillies
2 Tbsp of Sour Cream
Lime Juice and Salt to Taste
Oil for Sauteeing

For the Verde Sauce:
3-4 Tomatillo's
 2-3 Green Chillies
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Sprigs of Cilantro

1. Sautee Capsicum & sweet corn with oregano and rosemary
2. Make Pico De Gallo with chopped tomato, onion, cilantro and bit of lime juice
3. Blend or Mash together - Avocado's, cilantro, green chillies, Lime juice and salt. Add the sour cream and mix it well. Gives a creamy taste.

Verde sauce:
1. Cook tomatillos, Thai chillies, onion, garlic, and 2 sprigs of cilantro (I used a pressure cooker - 1 whistle)
2. Puree the cooked mixture and keep it heated.

To Prepare the Enchilda:
1. Heat yellow corn tortillas on a griddle (use a little oil if you like). Do not dry the tortilla out as that will make it crisp, and not good for rolling.
2. Spread cheese on the tortilla. Spoon in the other stuffing in a line in the center of the tortilla.
3.  Close the tortilla around the stuffing from both ends to create a roll. Place on a microwaveable plate with the seam down. Place 3-4 enchiladas on a plate next to each other, and sprinkle some more cheese on top. Pour the green sauce over the enchiladas, ensuring all portions get soaked, and there is some on the plate.
4. Microwave the entire dish for 1 minute so that the cheese melts.

Take out, and dig in

Cucumber and Poblano Pepper Raita

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Cucumber Chopped Finely
1/2 Poblano Pepper Chopped Finely
1/4 (or even less) Cup of Fresh Coconut (I use Frozen Shredded Coconut and just defrost it)
1 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
1 Cup of Yogurt or Buttermilk
1-2 Green Chilies
Salt to Taste

For Seasoning:
2 Tsp of Oil
1/4 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
1 Sprig of Curry Leaves

1) Grind the fresh coconut, Mustard seeds and Green Chillies into a smooth paste in the blender with as little water as possible.
2) Mix the Chopped cucumber and Poblano Pepper mix with the ground paste, add salt and yogurt and mix well.
3) Heat the oil and add Mustard seeds and once it starts spluttering, add the curry leaves and add the seasoning to the above mixture.

Enjoy the Raita with Rice or Chapathi. It tastes good even just as a side dish.

1. You can use dry coconut powder if you do not have fresh coconut, but this does not have the same taste as fresh coconut.
2. Seasoning is Optiona. It tastes good even without it.
3. Here is a picture of Poblano Pepper for those who have not used it before.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Red Cabbage Taco

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1/2 head of red cabbage - shredded thinly
1 Small can of Sweet Corn (no Salt added)
2 Roma Tomatoes - Chopped
1/2 Red Onion - Chopped Finely
1/2 Cup of Finely Chopped Cilantro
1/4 Cup of Spicy Peanuts (or any other flavor that you like)
6 Tacos (You can use any brand. I use the ones that sit flat - just for ease of filling it)

For Seasoning:
1 Tsp of Chipotle Chilli Pepper Powder (Optional)
Lemon Juice to Taste
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

1) Mix the Shredded Red Cabbage and Corn together and toss it with Lemon juice, chipotle red pepper powder, salt and black pepper.
2) Make Salsa with Chopped Tomatoes, Onion and Cilantro. Add a bit of salt to this.
3) Cook the Taco's per the manufacturer's instructions. Layer the salsa first and then top it with the Shredded cabbage mixture.
4) Top it with some Spicy peanuts and enjoy the Taco's.

Please let me know your comments and suggestions if you end up trying this recipe.

1) You can add some Avocado to this taco as well.
2) You can add some finely chopped Jalapeno to the Tomato salsa if you want it more spicy.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Dry Cauliflower Curry

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 Head of Cauliflower chopped into a medium florets
Oil for Sauteeing
2 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp of Garam Masala Powder
2 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder (or per taste)
1 Tsp of Amchur (Dried Mango) Powder
Salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro for Garnishing
Cumin Seeds for seasoning

1. Chop the cauliflower into medium florets and soak them warm water with salt for few minutes.
2. Heat the oil in the sauce pan and add cumin seeds. Add the drained cauliflower florets and saute on high for a few minutes.
3. Add all the masala powders and salt and mix well. Reduce the flame and cook it on slow fire for 10 - 12 mins or until the florets are tender.
4. Add chopped cilantro for garnishing and serve it hot with chapathi.

Sprouted Moong Curry with Tomato

(From Banu's Cookbook)

2 cups of Sprouted mung bean
2 Small Potatoes Chopped (Optional)
1 Medium Onion Chopped Fine
2 Tomatoes
2 Tsp of Coriander Powder
2 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1/4 Tsp of Garam Masala Powder
1/4 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
2-3 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder (or to taste)
Salt to Taste
2 Tsp of Oil
Cumin seeds for seasoning
Chopped Cilantro for garnishing

1. Pressure or microwave cook the sprouted mung bean along with Potato, onion and turmeric powder.
2. Grind into a smooth paste the tomatoes, and the powders (except Turmeric Powder).
3. Heat oil in a sauce pan and add cumin seeds. Then add the ground masala paste and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the raw smell is gone.
4. Add the cooked Mung bean mixture. Add salt and let it cook on low heat for 10 mins or so - this is to make sure that the mung bean mixture absorbs the masala paste.
5. Add chopped cilantro for garnishing and serve it hot with chapathi or rice.