Friday, April 20, 2012

Mango Kulfi

Here is a tasty cold dessert that you can make effortlessly any time of the day or year.

Ingredients :

Evaporated Milk: 12 oz can
Sweetened Condensed Milk: 14 oz can
Mango Pulp: 30 oz can
Heavy whipping cream: 3/4th of a 1 Pint carton


1. All you have to do is mix all the ingredients in one large mixing bowl.
2. Once the ingredients have been mixed well, transfer the liquid into one freezable closed container or Kulfi moulds if you have them.
3. Allow the liquid to freeze for 6-7 hours. The freezing time could differ based on your freezer settings so, you might have to leave it in a little longer.
4. Once it is hard, it is ready to be served as a nice cold dessert!

Suggestions: You could add any nuts of your choice as you are mixing the ingredients. That would add some crunch to the kulfi.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gobi Paratha / Cauliflower stuffed in tortilla

It's that lucky time for me when my mom is visiting and cooking us our favorite dishes everyday. I had to take advantage of that situation and asked my mom to make us my favorite Gobi parathas. This is more popular in the northern part of India and my South Indian mom was lucky enough to have a Punjabi neighbor whom she learnt it from. Here's how the dish is made and hope you get to make it when you find the time.


[Makes 10-12 parathas]
Wheat flour: 2 cups
Maida (all purse flour) : 1 cup
Water: enough to make a soft dough

Cauliflower: 1 big one
Green chillies: 7-8
Ginger (crushed): 1.5 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: to taste
Cilantro: few stems

2 plastic sheets - you can cut out a ziploc bag into 2 pcs.


1. Mix both the flours into a bowl and add some salt. Slowly add water in order to make a soft dough. The dough should not be runny but soft enough to be easily stretched.
2. Knead the dough for good 10 mins and keep aside after adding little oil to it.

3. Take the cauliflower and shred the flower part of it.
4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, green chillies and ginger in that order. After a few seconds, add the shredded cauliflower and cook it for a few minutes. There is no need to close with a lid.
5. Add salt and garam masala to the mixture and you will see that there is now water coming out of the cauliflower. Cook the mixture until the water has evaporated and turn it off.

6. Let the curry you just made cool down and sprinkle the cilantro. One it has cooled down you can follow the next steps.
7. Take a small ball sized dough on to your palm, flatten it, add some of the curry and close it from all sides. You will now have a ball of dough with curry inside it.

8. Now roll this ball on to a slightly greasy plastic sheet and flatten it like a tortilla/roti.

9. Once you have flattened it to a desirable size, heat it on a pan. Heat both sides of the roti and add some oil around the roti while on the pan.

10. You can now serve it hot once it is toasted on both sides. You can eat it alone or dip it in cool yogurt.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Masala Karam/ Spicy Masala stuffing (powder)

This is a powder I learned from my Mother-in law and loved it instantly. I use it in quite a few of my recipes like: stuffed eggplant, stuffed Ivy gourd (Dondakaya), stuffed Karela (Bitter gourd) or even just to sprinkle it on top of curries like potatoes, okra and others. I find this to be very easy and simple because it doesn't require any form of roasting and you can make it anytime and store it for later use. Also, keep in mind that this powder is meant to be pretty spicy!


Coriander seeds - 2 cups
Dry coconut powder - 3/4 cup
Garlic cloves - 8
Red chilli powder - 3-4 tsps (based on how spicy your powder is)
Salt - to taste


1. All you have to do is put all the above ingredients in a blender and grind them into a powder. The powder will be somewhat coarse so, don't wait for it to become very fine.
2. No need to roast any of the ingredients :)
3. Just store the powder and you can use it for any of the recipes mentioned above.

Variation: if you are planning to use this powder instantly for one time use, reduce the quantity accordingly and add onions to the mixture before blending it. But in this case, it will be a paste and you should make sure it cooks well along with the vegetables. It's equally delicious and brings great flavor and aroma.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baby corn Manchurian


Baby corn: 8 oz can
All purpose flour/Maida : 1.5 cup
Corn flour: 3/4 cup
2 Garlics chopped
Ginger chopped
6 Green Chillies chopped
Salt 1 tsp
Red chilli powder 3/4 tsp
1 Onion chopped
2 tbsps Ketchup


1. Add All purpose flour, corn flour, salt, ginger, garlic, few of the green chillies, and red chilli powder in one bowl. Make semi solid batter by adding water to the mixture.
2. The batter should not be too watery. The consistency should be thick enough to coat the baby corn and stick onto it.

3. Heat 2-3 tbsps oil in a deep vessel on medium hea
t. Wash and dip the baby corn in to the batter and deep fry in the oil.
4. Once you dip a few baby corn in the oil, simultaneously, they have a tendency to stick together. So, make sure to keep them separated while they are frying.
5. Fry them till they turn crispy and brown. Place them on a paper towel when you remove them from the oil.
6. After all the baby corn have been fried, heat 1/2 a tbsp of oil in a pan and add the rest of the green chillies. Also, add the chopped onions and saute them. The onions need not turn brown, just cook them till they turn translucent.
7. When the onions are cooked, add the ketchup along with some red chilli powder if you would like to make it more spicy.
8. Add the fried baby corn into this sauce and toss them till they are evenly covered with the sauce/ketchup.
9. The Baby corn Manchurian is now ready to eat as a starter or a snack.

Note: You may also add; green peppers or spring onions before you add the ketchup in step 7.
Also, the same recipe can be followed by using Cauliflower or Paneer (Cottage cheese) in place of the baby corn.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dum Aloo / Baby Potatoes in a spicy gravy

My husband and I were grocery shopping one day and came across these really cute looking Baby potatoes in the store. My husband being a fan of potatoes, instantly wanted us to get them and figure out a recipe to make something of them. Of course, when he says "us", he really means I should figure something out and cook them. So, I looked through a lot of recipes and came across something that seemed interesting and closer to our liking. I made it soon as I could and of course my husband loved it and wants "us" to do it
again! Here is the recipe and hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did :)


Baby potatoes: 15
Onions 2
Tomatoes 2
Green chillies 4
Garam Masala Powder
Red chilli powder (based on how spicy you would like it)
Garlic 2-3
Cumin seeds 1 tsp


1. To begin with, slightly boil the potatoes by covering them wi
th water and using either a pressure cooker (no more than 2 whistles) or a microwave. Make sure the potatoes are not fully boiled, as they might break easily in such a case.
2. You can now easily peel off the skin on the potatoes once they have cooled down after boiling.
3. Heal oil in a deep vessel and pour enough amount of oil to be able to deep fry the above potatoes. The potatoes should turn golden brown
as you fry them. Remove the potatoes into a paper towel and keep them aside.

4. Heat some oil in a pan and add sliced onions. Fry them until golden brown and add any masala powder you choose to use for your cooking.
5. Turn off the heat and let the fried onions cool down.
6. As they onions are cooling down, you may add halved tomatoes, peeled garlic and sliced green chillies into a blender. Once the onions are cool enou
gh, add them into the blender along with the others mentioned above. Now blend the mixture into a fine paste, making sure everything has blended well.
7. Heat about 1 tbspoon oil in a pan again and add cumin seeds and the above paste. Do not add any water as yet. Add salt, masala powder and red chilli powder to the paste and stir well. Let the paste cook until the oil separates and it starts to look dry.

8. As the paste is cooking, take a fork and poke the previously fried potatoes on all sides carefully. Making these tiny holes lets the above masala or paste add taste to the potatoes.
9. When the paste looks dry and well cooked, now add some water based on how thick or thin you like your gravy/sauce to be.10. Right away add the potatoes and cover with lid on medium heat and cook fir another 10-15 minutes.
11. Uncover the pan and let any of the remaining water evaporate.
12. Garnish with fresh corriander leaves and eat with rice or roti.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shorba from Tunisia with Sondes Baccar

This past December I made a trip to Tunisia. On their first anniversary of revolution, it was a privilege to be spending my New Year's with them. Apart from Tunis, managed to visit some interiors too especially Sidi Bouzid where it all started when a young vegetable seller set himself on fire - Bouazizi.

Food is such an integral part of our lives, we are of course what we eat but on a journey like this into unknown lands lodging with unknown people - there can be many surprises, especially for vegetarians like me! Tunisians love spice, especially chilli peppers in a paste form called Harissa, reminds me so much of my own Telugu heritage with Korivikaram, a similar chilli paste condiment. Except they add caraway seeds to it. Olives, Figs, Dates, Oranges are common. Baguettes abound. So does Couscous. French fries accompany most orders and Mint tea is a must!

After a long trip down south I fell sick just a day before flying out with all the travel and lack of protein - no dal, so Ikram took me home to recuperate while her mother Sondes cooked me a wonderful lentil, pasta, vegetable, spicy soup, which along with a good night's rest helped me recover instantly!!

Here is a video I took of her telling me how to, it is in Tunisian which is a mix of Arabic, Berber and French. Not too hard to figure out though.

Basically you take Olive oil, add Garlic if you want, Turmeric, Chilli Powder, Garam Masala or Tunisian spice if you have it, Tomato Paste - canned or fresh, Leeks, Celery Leaves, Fennel, Carrots, Orzo pasta (or that special pasta which looks like rice grains that Tunisian women make at home for Shorba), let it all boil slowly in water, add cooked lentils and or cooked garbanzo/chick peas to the Brass pot. The material of the pot is the key to a great tasting Shorba, don't expect to replicate it with just any vessel! Happy Shorbaing!!