Thursday, April 4, 2013

Green Tea Latte

Made this with chia seed and matcha powder.  Matcha powder, ground green tea, is suppose to have three times the antioxidants than grean tea alone and more antioxidants than blueberries and pomegranates per weight.  (Source: Wikipedia)

1 T chia seed
1 T flax seed, finely ground
1 T matcha powder
1 C water, warm if possible
Honey to taste

Place ingredients in blender.  Let soak for 5-10 minutes.  If using a Vitamix, blend on "Hot Soup" mode....otherwise, your are on your own (J/K).  Blend on high for a few minutes (3-5).  Enjoy!

Nutritional value (excluding honey)
Calories: 150
Calories from fat: 65
Total Fat: 7.5g (12%)
     Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.75g
          Omega-3 / ALA: 4.21g
          Omega-6 / LA: 1.35g
     Monounsaturated Fat: 0.8g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 40 mg (2%)
Total Carb: 19g (7%)
     Dietary Fiber: 7g (28%)
Protein: 3.5g (7%)

Chia Seed

My newest discovery is chia seed.  First read about it in Born to Run. (1)  I have been putting it in everything...smoothies, fruit, yogurt, tea.  

For those looking for omega fatty acids, as a point of reference:
Ω-3 (mg) Ω-6 (mg) Cal Fiber (g)
1 T chia seed (2) 2850 (ALA) 950 (LA) 60 5
2 T flax seed (3) 2700 (ALA) 800 (LA) 80 4
2 tabs fish oil (4) 714 (EPA) 288 (DHA) 15

Here are some links about it:
No Meat Athlete: Born to Run
Huffington Post: Change your life with chia
Chia Seed Recipes

(1)  C McDougall.  Born to run: a hidden tribe, superathletes, & the greatest race the world has never seen.  Vintage (2011).
(2)  Organic Chia Seed, Whole Foods 365.
(3)  Organic Finely Ground Flax Seed, Whole Foods 365.
(4)  GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuna ki Achar

So this may sound unappealing to many but I think it will work.

In an effort to lower my cholesterol, I am trying to eat more fish. I was craving tuna salad (the kind with mayo) the other day and thought it would be nice to have something like a mango-pickle or ginger-pickle that I could just come home, warm up some frozen paratha, and eat with some yogurt and my protein-filled tuna ki achar.

Unfortunately, I searched the internet for such a recipe and could not find anything, suprisingly. The following is the closest that I found so if anyone else has any ideas, please let me know. Since part of the goals are decreasing my cholesterol, I was hoping for something that was not fried and more oil/vinegar based. When I actually try it, I will post the results.

2 lb King fish, diced
1/2 c Ginger, thinly sliced
1/2 c Garlic, tinly sliced
10 Green chillies
1/4 cup Chilly Powder with vinegar to form paste
1 c vinegar
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tsp mustard seeds
Salt, to taste

For marinade:
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp salt
Water PRN

1. Marinade fish piece and keep in refrigerator for half an hour. Then deep fry fish.
2. Heat oil in another pan. Add mustard seeds until pops occur, then curry leaves. Then ginger, garlic,, and chillies. Saute. Mix in chilly paste and saute.
3. Add vinegar and salt and bring to a boil. Add the fish and simmer another 5-6 minutes. Additional water or vinegar can be added PRN.
4. Allow to cool and store in an air tight container.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I was craving greens today but wanted to add some kind of protein so this is what I ended up with:

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbps oil (of choice)
1/2 tbsp coarse black pepper
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 pound sea scallops, cut in half and then quartered
1 bag spinach, chopped
red pepper and spice, to taste
lemon juice for garnish

1.  Infuse oil with garlic, pepper, fenugreek seeds, and turmeric over medium heat.  
2. Add scallops and lightly sear.  After a few minutes, remove scallops and set aside.  
3. Add 1 bag of spinach to pan and cover.  Simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until cooked down.  Add scallops and spices back to pan and cook an additional five minutes.
4. Serve with a hint of fresh lemon juice.

So these turned out decent, especially with the buttery scallops but I think they could have been have a little sweeter.  Two things I would add next time would be tomatoes and cilantro, maybe some ginger.  

If anyone has any suggestions for your scallops, I am interested.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Black Lentils

After suggested to me from many Uncles and Aunties when discussing slow cookers, these lentils have turned out great!  I guess they are also known as Ma ki Daal (or Mom's Lentils) because they are so wholesome and hearty.  At any rate, they require a long time to cook so the slow cooker is perfect for them.

1 cup whole urad daal
4 cups water (alternatively, vegetable or other broth)
1 can kidney (rajma) beans, undrained
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
1" ginger, minced
1/2 tsp tumeric, minced
1 tbsp sambar powder, heaping (can probably be replaced with garam masala or curry powder)
1 pinch asafetida 
stems of 1 bunch cilantro

1.  Place all the above items in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  (I have always placed everything in slow cooker the night before and then started the cooking the next morning; I do not know if skipping this step would result in undercooking or hard lentils).
2.  If desired, a oil-infused spice mix (tarka, vaghar, or chowk) can be added.  I have used different combinations, but usually includes something similar to the following
-1 tbsp ghee or olive oil or other oil (peanut, mustard)
-1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
-1 tbsp cumin seeds
-2 cloves garlic, minced
3. You can also add whatever else may suit your needs.  I have done tomatoes (when 1/2 remains in cooking), okra, squash, pepper mixes, onions, etc.

I hope you enjoy.  Please post suggestions or alternatives.  

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Saag Paneer Lasagna

This recipe is courtesy of Anita Kewalramani.  I believe it is from a Trader's Joe cookbook or something of the sort.  Sounds delicious.  

1 package no boil lasanga noodles (fresh or dry)
2 15 oz jars of punjab spinach sauce
16 oz frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
15 oz fresh ricotta cheese
16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess water.  Mix sauce, spinach, and peas in a bowl.
  3. Place some olive oil in a 9x13 pan with a few tbsp punjab sauce.  
  4. Add a layer of noodles.  Then put 1/4 spinach mixture over noodles, then 1/3 ricotta cheese, and another layer of noodles.  Repeat twice more.  Place last 1/4 mixture on top and cover with mozzarella cheese.  
  5. Cover loosely with foil.  Cook for 25 minutes covered and then 20 minutes uncovered.
Serves 6-8

Willie's Grilled Salmon Marinade

1 cup white wine
3 tsp brown suger
3-4 bay leaves
2 pinch salt
2 pinch pepper
1 tsp  garlic
1/c cup coarse German mustard

Courtesy Ta'I Loving

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gajjar Halva

1 lb carrots (about 1/2 packet), shredded
1 can condensed milk (sweetened)
2-3 pods cardamom pods, ground 
1/4 cup raisins
pinch of saffron (optional)
almonds, slivered or sliced for garnish

1. Place carrots and condensed milk in slow cooker.  Set on low and cook for about 4-6 hours.  
2. I added the remaining ingredients about an hour prior to finishing but the cardamom pods could probably be added at the beginning.  The carrots have to be added toward the end or at least when it enough of the milk has evaporated so they don't absorb the liquid and become grapes again.
3. Prior to serving, you can leave the cover off the slow cooker or cook lightly in a pan to get a better "halva" consistency.

This turned out GREAT and was so easy.  I tried to do all sorts of fancy things with apples, honey, sugar, cream etc previously but this was so quick and turned out well.  Let me know what you think.  Pistachios might be a nice touch.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pumpkin Chili

Yesterday at the outpatient surgery center, the nurses brought in chili as part of a fundraiser. Interestingly, one of the RN's made "Pumpkin Chili." Her recipe was basically a standard recipe for chili including beans, beef, and what not but also included one can of pumpkin puree. The pumpkin did not add too much to the taste but added a nice and thicker texture rather than a watery/soupy consistency. Thought it was an interesting idea and could be applied elsewhere.

My mullagatawny soup turned out decent. I ended up having to add a little Splenda because one can of coconut milk was not enough. Maybe a can of pumpkin puree would have done the job.

Have a good day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chicken and Mulligatawny Soup

I just put this recipe in my new bigger and improved crock pot... I will let you know how it goes.  Recipe based one from Epicurious.

3 chicken breasts (half breasts), cubed to bite sized
1/2 bag frozen onions and peppers
1 cup lentils of choice
1 bag frozen mixture of carrots, celery, and onions
2 heaping tbsp garlic, minced
1 fat inch of ginger, diced or minced
1-2 tbsp garam masala
1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom powder (optional)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (optional)
1 apple, diced
6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 can coconut milk
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped

1. Add all ingredients starting with the chicken and ending with the coriander powder to the crock pot.  I added them in the order I listed them so the chicken was closest the heat the bottom and other ingredients closer to the top.  I lightly mixed the ingredients while still trying to keep them separated in layers.  I then added the apples last so they remained on top.
2. Add stock and bay leaves.  Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 8-10 hours.  
3.  Add coconut milk and cilantro.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste and cook another 30-60 minutes or so.
4. Serve and enjoy.

Peanut Chicken

Walking through the hospital one day, I was smelled peanut butter.  I came home and found a recipe on (Soba with Chicken and Peanut Sauce, Gourmet Jun 2007) that I then adapted into the following recipe.  I was amazed how fast it was and the texture of adding cucumber.

1 pound chicken, thinly sliced (I used breasts)
1 onion, 1 pepper or 1 cup frozen onions and peppers
1 tsp minced garlic (heaping)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 tbsp chili sauce (I used a combination of the red kind you get at the chinese stores with the chicken on it and Frank's red hot)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 cup peanut butter
1 pound soba noodles
1 cucumber, sliced or diced

1.  In a large pot bring water or chicken stock to a boil.  Boil chicken for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove chicken and set aside. 
2.  Return water to a boil and cook noodles according to manufacture instructions. 
3.  While the chicken is boiling, saute 1 onions, peppers and garlic until clear onions soft.  Whisk in chili sauce, sesame oil, and peanut butter and heat.  Balance the thickness of the sauce with the chicken stock/water from the noodles.  (I ended up adding about a cup or so).
4.  Prior to serving, return the chicken to the sauce and add the cucumbers.  Serve over noodles.  
I think this recipe only took about 15 minutes from start to finish to make so it is great if you are in a hurry (or just in the mood for peanut butter).  I wonder how it would taste over greens rather than with noodles.  


These following are estimates and guesses at best but hope it gives you the idea.  The theme for this chili is three thus: three meats, three peppers, three types of beans.  This recipe is based on a recipe from Tyler Florence.

1/2 - 1 lb lamb, cubed
1 pound turkey
1-2 lbs. chicken breast, cubed
1 bag frozen onions and peppers (bell)
2 tbsp (heaping) minced garlic
3 jalapeno peppers, preferably smoked and diced
1 habenero pepper (or milder if desired)
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2-1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp garam masala or 2 tsp chili powder with 1 tsp cinnamon 
salt to taste
1 box stock (I used chicken)
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 can garbanzo beans (or other white bean of choice)
1 can black beans

1. In a large pot, sear lamb and then set aside.  In the same pot, brown turkey with salt and pepper and set aside.  Finally, in the same pan lightly brown chicken for 1-2 minutes and set aside.
2. Saute the onions, peppers, and garlic in the same pot that the meat was cooked until onions and peppers clear/soft.  Return meat to pot and mix ingredients.  Season with spices and continue cooking until fragrant.  (the measurements are approximates at best; I usually just sprinkle on the spices until it smells right)
3. When happy with the spices, add stock, kidney beans, tomato, and tomato paste.  Bring chili to a boil.
4. After chili has boiled for five minutes, return to a simmer and then add garbanzo beans and black beans (if you add then too early, they become mushy).  Cook for about 15-20 until chicken is cook through and then longer if time permits.
5. Serve with shredded cheese of choice.

*I sometimes add frozen corn returning to a simmer.  Fresh cilantro is a nice touch as well.  Please post your suggestions and your chili recipes here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


1/2 cup honey
1 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar plus 7 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 cups (1.5 pounds) walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 box phyllo dough (in freezer section)
butter, melted

  1. Combine the honey, water, 1 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and chill. If you like your baklava moist, then you can make a little more syrup.
  2. Chop the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Add 7 T sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Using pastry brush, brush melted butter on the bottom of a 9x13 (lasagne) pan. Place 8 or 9 sheets of phyllo dough in the pan. Brush top layer with melted butter. Next, sprinkle 1/3 of nut mixture on the dough. Fold any overhanging dough over the nuts. Place another 8 or 9 sheets of phyllo dough on top of the nuts. Brush with butter. Sprinkle another 1/3 of nut mixture on top. Repeat for another layer. Place another layer of dough on top and brush with butter.
  4. Refridgerate for about one hour. Then, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Score the top layer into triangles (cut lengthwise, widthwise, then diagonally) with a thin knife. Bake for about one hour until golden brown. Let cool for a short while.
  5. Cut through the score marks to slice the baklava. Pour the cold syrup on top. Make sure it spreads throughout the pan. Cool to room temperature and serve.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

San Bei Ji (Three Cup Chicken): a traditional Taiwanese dish

1.5 pounds of chicken (thighs, legs, whatever you want)
2 inches of ginger (peeled and sliced)
4 cloves garlic (sliced or chopped)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine (available at Chinese grocery stores)
Chopped green onion
Fresh Basil leaves

Add some sesame oil to a large pot or wok and add chicken. Start to cook chicken for about 4 minutes. Add Ginger and Garlic to pot and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the three liquids and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Shortly before serving, add green onions and basil leaves. Serve with rice.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pea and Basil Soup

a lower fat variation of a Giada recipe.....
makes 4 - 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup frozen chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic (or 1 cube of trader joe's frozen garlic)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound frozen peas
1 cup chicken broth (can substitute w/veggie broth)
4 tablespoons fresh chopped basil (or 12 cubes of trader joe's frozen basil)
1 cup fat free half & half
3/4 cup skim milk
4 - 6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup diced roasted red bell peppers

place medium soup pot over medium heat
add olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, & onions.
cook until onions are soft & translucent (about 5 minutes)
add peas and basil & heat until peas are thawed.

place pea mixture in a blender
add chicken broth to blender
pulse mixture until pureed
return the pureed mixture to the pot
stir in half & half along with skim milk
cook until hot but not boiling.
add additional salt & pepper to taste.

serve in soup bowls, floating a thin slice of mozzarella cheese on top
sprinkle in the diced roasted bell peppers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ranjana's Peanut Chutney (Dry)

2 cups Peanuts, shelled
10 cloves garlic, whole
10 Chili peppers, dry
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste

1. Remove shells from peanuts. If desired, lightly pan fry. Heat chili peppers over dry heat until warm.
2. Place peanuts, garlic, and peppers in blend and coarsely chop. The mixture will be moist.
3. Heat oil in pan over medium heat and then add chopped ingredients. The oil will cause the chutney to dry. Once it is dry, add salt to taste and any other spices desired.

This is the best of my understanding from the cook of this traditional Marathi recipe. As I try making it, I will post updates. I like the taste and the texture it adds to traditional Indian (or other) dishes. For some variations, different spices and herbs would also add different tastes.

Also, I forgot to mention that my initial interest in the recipe was as a breading, not a chutney. My plan was to use it as a breading to maybe fish or something of the sort.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Slow Cooker Italian Style Pot Roast

2 - 3 pounds boneless beef roast
28 ounce can italian style tomato sauce
one packet italian dressing mix
one chopped onion

place all the ingredients in your slow cooker
cook for 8 hours

the leftovers make a great meat pasta sauce.....just shred the beef & add some mushrooms to the sauce, along with crushed red peppers & italian seasoning to taste.

-- adapted from

Sunday, December 2, 2007

PB & chocolate mini cheesecakes

this is a lower-fat version of the recipe that came with my mixer.........they were yummy.....

makes 12

1 cup crushed chocolate graham crackers
11 oz fat free cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar (i used 1/4 cup baking splenda)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup skim milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup peanut butter (i used reduced fat)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

preheat oven to 325

spoon about 1 tablespoon of crushed graham crackers into each cupcake liner & press flat (or you can use pre-made mini graham crusts)

put cream cheese in mixer bowl. use flat beater & beat at 4 until smooth.
stop & scrape bowl
add sugar & vanilla
then beat at 6, until smooth & fluffy (about 1 min)
stop & scrape bowl
turn to speed 2 and add milk & eggs one at a time (beating for about 15 sec in between)
stop & scrape bowl
turn to speed 4 & beat for 30 seconds.
remove half of the batter to a separate bowl.

add pb to batter in mixer bowl
turn to speed 4 & beat until well mixed
divide pb batter evenly among prepared muffin cups

return remaining batter to mixer bowl
add in melted chocolate & turn to speed 4 & beat until well blended
divide evenly among half-filled muffin cups

bake for 20 - 25 minutes

Turkey Meatloaf

this is a variation of a Rachel Ray recipe.

1 pound ground turkey (93% fat free)
1 medium onion chopped (a 12 ounce bag of frozen chopped onions works perfectly!)
1 large egg with a splash of milk
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grill seasoning
1 cup smoky barbeque sauce
1/2 cup salsa (1/4 cup regular salsa with 1/4 cup chipotle salsa)
extra virgin olive oil/vegetable oil

-- can also add 1 chopped green pepper & 2 chopped celery stalks

preheat oven to 400 degrees

1) put ground turkey into a big bowl
2) add the chopped/food processed veggies to the meat in the bowl
3) add bread crumbs & grill seasoning to the meat bowl
4) beat the egg with a splash of milk & then add to the meat bowl
5) in a separate bowl, mix the salsa & the bbq sauce
6) pour 1/2 of the salsa/bbq sauce mixture into the meat bowl
7) brush the bottom/sides of a 9 by 13 baking pan with the veggie/olive oil to prevent sticking
8) using your hands, mix the meatloaf together in the big bowl
9) spread the meatloaf mixture into the baking pan
10) top the entire meatloaf with the remaining salsa/bbq sauce mixture

bake for 45 - 50 minutes. cut into pieces when done & serve.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Chicken Mole and Cactus Salad

Terrence and I made this the other evening with ingredients from Dos Hermanos, a new hispanic grocery store on Michigan Ave in Ypsilanti. I don't pretend to be an excellent cook in this cuisine, but it was a good experiment

Chicken Mole:
1 - 1.5 Lbs chicken breast, cut into strips
Mole Sauce (can buy premade)
Tomatoes, chopped
Onions, chopped
Your choice of peppers, depending on the Scoville units you desire. We used serrano

1. Saute chicken breast, onions and peppers.
2. While that is cooking, mix prepare mole sauce according to directions in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until thick and warm. We used chicken broth rather than water for the base
3. Add tomatoes to chicken/onion/pepper mix
4. Add mole sauce to chicken/vegetable mix
5. Pour over tostados

Cactus Salad:
Canned cactus (found at Dos Hermanios), chopped. (there is fresh cactus there also, but i'm not sure how you peel it, so i went for the canned)
Your choice of salsa, prefer tomato base though in this salad
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Mexican farmer's cheese, ie queso blanco (also at Dos Hermanios), crumbled
Corn, either fresh, canned or frozen

Basically mix all above ingredients together, in proportions that you like. Have chilled 30 mins-1 hour prior to serving to blending favors

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pumpkin Tofu Makhani

A sweeter alternative to the classic chicken makhani.

1/2 onion, chopped (or frozen equivalent)
1 belll pepper, chopped (or frozen equivalent)
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cayenne powder (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
5 cardamom pods or cardamom powder
2 star anise (optional)
mixed frozen vegetables (a little over 1 cup or about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup pumpkin butter*
1/2 cup water
1/2 soy milk

1. Sautee onions, peppers, and garlic until soft and/or clear. Add spices and stir until fragrant. Set aside in bowl or other container.
2. Add tofu to same pan and lightly sautee until browned.
3. Return onion and spices to pan. Add mixed vegetables, pumpkin butter, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add soy milk. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until vegetables cooked through, stirring occasionally.
4. Serve over rice or with choice of bread. Enjoy.

*available at Trader Joe's

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Flax Oatmeal Pancakes

2 parts pancake mix
1 part blueberry flax, ground
1 part oatmeal
1 part cereal (preferred with omega 3, flax, and fiber*)

1. Mix above mixture with equal amount milk and egg
2. Then, you pour like a pancake on a pan, add chocolate chips.
3. Flip
4. Enjoy.

-Courtesy of Ankur Gupta

*Optima is the recommended cereal.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Apple Raspberry Crisp

A fall favorite that's topped with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Serves: 6


1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 5 large), peeled, quartered, cored, thinly sliced

1 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries (unthawed)

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix 1/2 cup golden brown sugar and 1 tablespoon flour in large bowl. Add apple slices and frozen raspberries and toss to coat. Transfer apple and raspberry filling to 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish.

Mix oats, cinnamon, salt and re-maining 1/2 cup golden brown sugar and 1/2 cup flour in medium bowl. Add chilled butter and rub in with fingertips until moist clumps form. Sprinkle oat topping evenly over filling.

Bake crisp until apples are tender and oat topping is golden brown and firm, about 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes. Serve crisp warm or at room temperature. Scoop into bowls; top with ice cream or whipped cream.

(It's Prab's new favorite!)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mixed Indian Vegetables with Puff Pastry Crust

This recipe is a fusion recipe of pav bhaji and chicken pot pie, comfort foods from India and the West.

Pav bhaji is dish from Western India, mainly Mumbai (Bombay) and a comfort food to most Indians. It was developed during the period of the textile mills when workers only had a brief period for lunch. Bhaji or mixed vegetables were cooked on a tava or flat pan along with pav or bread and the two were served together by street vendors. Today, you can still find pav bhaji from street vendors as we buy hot dogs or pizza.

This recipe involves the combination of vegetables used by my family. The vegetables are usually mashed but I left them whole and added chicken for more of the pot pie consistency. The pav is replaced with the pot pie pastry. For a vegetarian option, increase the amount of vegetables and/or add potatoes.

1 package of puff pastry
2 tbsp oil
3 heaping tsp garlic, minced (divided)
3-4 chicken breasts, cubed
1 large onion, sliced (or about 1/2 14 oz bag frozen onion/pepper)
approximately 1/2 box (3.5 oz box) pav bhaji masala*
1 14 oz bag mixed vegetables
1 15 oz. can creamed corn
3 tablespoon lemon juice (divided)
1/2 cup chicken broth (option)
1 cup yogurt or cream
1 tbsp butter
1 heaping tsp poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Thaw puff pastry and set aside. Butter baking dish.
2. Sweat garlic in oil over low heat for a few minutes. Then increase heat and lightly brown chicken (does not need to be cooked through). Set chicken aside.
3. In same pan, saute onion/pepper mix until soft and clear. Add masala and salt. Once fragrant, return chicken to pan and coat with spices. Add mixed vegetables, creamed corn, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Then transfer chicken and vegetables to baking dish, leaving sauce in pan.
4. Add yogurt or cream to sauce to thicken and pour over vegetables in baking dish.
5. In a small boil, melt butter, 1 tbsp lemon juice, poppy seeds, 1 tsp minced garlic. Lay puff pastry over baking dish and then spread butter sauce over baking dish.
6. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Watch puff pastry to prevent burning.

I think caramelized onions would like be a nice touch on top. Cilantro could (and should) be used as a garnish, I was just hungry and in a hurry.

*Pav bhaji masala is available at your friendly neighborhood Indian grocer. It is a combination of coriander, chili, cumin, dry mango, cardamom seeds, black pepper, salt, fennel, cinnamon, dry ginger, bay leaf cloves, star anise, caraway, nutmeg, mace.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Cheesemonger's Mac and Cheese

This recipe is excerpted/adapted from Bon Appetit that looked good (with a slightly different "twist" than the previously posted recipe).

3/2 cups Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
3/2 cups sharp chedder cheese, coarsely graed
3/2 cups Brie, rindless and diced*
5 tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 tsp nutmeg
4 cups milk, whole
7/4 cups breadcrumbs
1 pound penne pasta

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Mix all cheeses. Set aside 1 cup for topping; cover and chill.
2. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until mixture turns golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add thyme and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer and stir until thickened and smooth, about four minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted and smooth.
3. Melt 1 tbsp butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs, toss. Stir until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate.
4. Cook pasta al dente. Drain and transfer to large bowl. Pour cheese sauce over and toss. Place in baking pan and sprinkle with reserved 1 cup cheese (the original recipes calls for placing in individual custard cups and placing these on a rimmed baking sheet).
5. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with breadcrumbs and then bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

*tip from recipe: "It's easiest to remove the rind and dice the Brie if you put in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm it up first."

Albert A, Knowlton A, Barnhurst N. 2007. Bon appetit. Small restaurants, big ideas. September:143.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Vegetable Biryani

Biryani comes from the Persian word beryan or "roasted." It typically involves slightly cooked rice and cooked vegetables or meat that are then cooked together. It can be found in all part of Southeast Asia, which each reason have their own set of spices and ingredients. This recipe is my sisters with slight adjustment in the ingredients for what I had in my pantry.

2 tablepsoons oil (or ghee)
3-4 cloves garlic, miched
2 cups basmati rice
1 heaping tsp cardamom
1 tsp poppy seeds
2 caps fills imitation coconut flavor (approx 1 tsp)
2 tsp sugar
1 cup cashews (chopped if you will)
4 cups water

2 tablespoons oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 heaping tsp turmeric
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp coriander seed
1 heaping teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 tsp mustard seed
frozen mixed vegetables

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. In 2 pans, place onions and sweat garlic (or garlic/ginger).
2. For rice mixture, increase rice and lightly saute rice for about couple of minutes. Then add poppy seeds, cardamom, sugar, and flavor and continue to cook. A little water can be added if sticking. After the rice has been cooked for about ten minutes, add cashews (a little ghee is also adds nice flavor) and cook for an additional minute and then set aside.
3. Meanwhile, add onions to garlic/ginger oil in vegetable pan. Saute until onions are golden. Add remainder of ingredients except vegetables and saute until aroma can be smelled. Add mixed vegetables and cook until crisp. (A little water may also be needed here).
4. Combine the two ingredients in a baking dish. They can either be mixed and added together or layered. (I did layer of rice, then vegetables, then rice). Add water and cover tightly with silver foil. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until rice done.
5. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy.

Cilantro-Pepper Stuffed Tofu

2 extra-firm tofu, approximately 1 lb each
1/2 - 2/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch scallions
1-2 peppers/chilies* (depending on desired heat)
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
water or oil

3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, pealed and minced
1 pepper* or more to taste, diced (optional)
1 tbsp garam masala
cayenne pepper to desired heat (approximately 1/2 tsp)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup yogurt
1-2 tbsp water
1 tbsp oil
remainder of cilantro, chopped (keep some for garnish)

Preheat grill to high.
1. Press tofu to extract fluid as usually done. First cut tofu horizontally in half so each block provides two large piece. Then cut lengthwise. Finally, make pockets in the the tofu by cutting in one side of each piece.
2. Prepare the filling by blending the cilantro, scallions, peppers, lemon juice, and salt with enough water to make a paste. Using a spoon (or appropriate device), stuff each tofu pocket.
3. Make the marinade by mixing the above ingredients. Add the water as needed for consistency. Marinade the the stuff tofu for four or more hours (I used a big plastic bag; be careful no to break the tofu).
4. After oiling grate, place tofu steaks on grill and cook for about -8-10 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once. For addeed color and flavor, the tofu can be basted with melted butter or ghee.
5. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

*I used serrano peppers because it is what I found.
based on recipe from S. Rachlen. 1998. The barbeque! bible. 407-408.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Braised Korean Short Ribs (Gal Bee Jim)

This is from a Korean cookbook that our family friend published. It can be modified to make a stew by adding more water and vegetables which would be great in a crock pot!!

1 1/2 lb beef short ribs, 2 inch thick slices
2 T sugar
1 T rice wine
2 T flour
1 T cooking oil

Seasoning sauce:
4 T soy sauce
2 T sugar
2 T rice wince
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 slice ginger
1/8 tsp pepper
5 T water

1. Separate bones (usually 3 bones are sold together), rinse and dry the meat. Then remove the visible fat. Make diagonal slashes halfway through the meat about 1 inch apart.
2. Place the meat in a bowl and add sugar and wine. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Coat the meat lightly with flour. Heat oil in large frying pan, then brown the meat on both sides.
3. Combine the seasoning ingredients and mix well.
4. Place the meat in a heavy cooking pot or casserole dish (or possibly a crock pot!). Pour the seasoning sauce over the meat.
5. Cook over high heat until the sauce comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to very low. Cover and cook about 40 minutes to 1 hour. From time to time, collect the sauce in a ladle and moisten the top of the meat. When nearly all the sauce has been absorbed the dish is ready to serve. (When making a stew, you can add more water and vegetables such as potatoes or carrots to cook with the meat)
6. Serve with steamed rice.

Malaysian Fish Curry and Rice


1 1/2 lb fish
lemon juice
tumeric, salt, pepper
2 onions
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tsp ginger
3 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 large tomato peeled and chopped
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup coconut milk

1. Sprinkle fish with lemon juice, tumeric, salt and pepper. Leave for 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels and fry.
2. In separate pan, fry onions, garlic, ginger. Add coriander, cumin, 1/2 tumeric and stir.
3. Add tomato and stir. Add water and salt.
4. Cover and simmer for few minutes. Uncover and add coconut milk. Simmer until sauce is thick. Add fish and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
5. May serve with basmati rice. To spice up the rice, see below.

Rice (I've never tried this part before but this is my friend's recipe & tasted great when she made it)

2 T oil
1 onion
5 cardamon seeds
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Basmati rice
4 C water
2 tsp salt

Fry onion in oil. Add spices and rice and fry. Add water, salt. Boil 15 minutes covered. Later rice and fish. Cover and bake at 350 F x 25 minutes.

Kahlua Cake

This cake is simple to make & a great hit at parties!

one box of chocolate cake mix
one small box of instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup Kahlua (or more if you like!)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1/2 bag chocolate chips.

Mix all ingredients together and put into greased bundt pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 F.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cheddar Ale Soup

¼ cup butter
½ cup minced onion
1/3 cup grated carrots (optional)
1/3 flour
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon paprika
½ pound (2 cups) grated cheddar cheese (extra sharp is best)
2 cans Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1¼ cups Half and Half
1 can Ale or Beer

Put the onions and the carrots in a food processor to chop everything.
Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add onion and carrot, cover and cook over low heat about 5 minutes. Blend in flour, mustard, and paprika.
Stir in cheese and 1 can of chicken broth until cheese is melted.
Add remaining ingredients and the other can of broth; simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If you want more veggies, consider broccoli or red bell peppers.
Also, if you want a smooth texture, puree in a blender after cooking.

Garnish with green onion, chives, or parsley.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Macaroni and Cheese

This is Delilah Winder's recipe featured as "best of the best" and on the Oprah Show.

2 pounds elbow macaroni
1 1/2 quarts half-and-half
3 c sharp yellow cheddar cheese
2 c extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese
1 c asiago cheese
1 c monterey jack cheese
1 c muenster cheese
1 c Velveeta cheese
1/2 pound butter
1 dz eggs
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp black pepper

1. Cook macaroni according to box instructions.
2. Melt butter, crack eggs into a bowl, beat until egg yolks and white are blended well.
3. Grate all cheeses (except the Velveeta).
4. With the cooked elbow macaroni still warm, mix in the Velveeta cheese, melted butter and a 1/2 quart of the half-and-half.
5. Blend until creamy and smooth.
6. Add the remaining half-and-half, all grated cheeses, eggs, salt and pepper.
7. Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
8. Bake in your favorite baking dish (one with deep sides, rectangular works) at 325 degrees for 1 hour, until golden brown.

Tip: Make sure all ingredients are mixed well and your oven has been preheated. For an extra kick, add some additional grated yellow cheese on top midway into the baking process.

Easy Low Fat Rice Pudding

1 cup Rice (Basmati or Jasmine)
4 cups Lowfat Milk (2% works well)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 whole bay leaves (don't ask me why but it works well)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Boil rice with water for about 3-4 minutes. Then drain the water out.
Add the milk to the rice, and then add the sugar, cardamom, bay leaves, and cinnamon.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add the vanilla towards the end of the simmering. Remove the bay leaves.
Let cool and then refridgerate.

The rice will really soak up the milk and get nice and thick. You can always add a little milk at the end if the pudding is too thick.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Sent to me by my sister; source unknown.

A professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class told his class about bananas. He said the expression "going bananas" is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Read on:

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school (England) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood
sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking & Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine,
eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so
that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Slow-Cooked Korean Roast

This is my meager attempt at bulgogi with the ingredients I could find in my fridge (hence the apple juice). Suggestions for a better (more authentic recipe) would be appreciated.

2-3 pounds top sirloin roast or meat of choice
fresh ground black pepper
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chili sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds, preferably toasted
3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1-2 inches ginger, peeled and chopped
scallions for garnish.

1. Lightly dust meat with pepper and place in slow cooker.
2. Mix remainder ingredients, except scallions. Cover meat.
3. Allow to marinade (1 hour +).
4. Cook in slow cooker according to suggested manufacturer ingredients. (I usually start it on low before I leave for work in the morning and it is ready when I get home).
5. Before serving, the liquid from the slow cooker and cook down in a pan for a sauce, if desired.
6. Garnish with scallions and serve with either rice or noodles (see noodle salad below).

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vegetable Korma

8 oz. frozen onions and peppers (or equivalent fresh amount)
1 tbsp oil
8 oz. frozen cauliflower (I used combination cauliflower and broccoli)
16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
water or stock
1 - 1 1/2 cup yogurt
cilantro for garnish

1/2 c cashews, heaping (preferably unsalted but hard to find)
pinch cinammon
1 teaspoon cardamom, ground
1 teaspoon poppy seeds, heaping
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili or cayenne powder (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon garlic paste or 3-4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ginger paste or 1" fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 pinch cinammon
1-2 tsp imitation coconut flavor (or 1/2 c grated coconut)
splash of water (to form paste)

1. Grind paste in blender or with mortor or pestle. I would recommen starting with the cashews and then adding spices with enough water to form paste. The ingredients can be substituted with different forms (the first listed is what I used because it is what I had on hand).
2. Place oil in pan and lightly sautee onions and peppers in pan until clear and soft. Add paste and continue stirring until fragrant. You may need to add water to keep from sticking.
3. Add the remainder of vegetables with enough water to prevent burning. Bring to a boil and then to a simmer. Cook until cooked through.
4. Before serving and on low heat (to prevent the yogurt from breaking or curdling), stir in yogurt to form a nice sauce. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy.

This dish could be served as a meat dish. I would probably:
1. pan sear the meat
2. either remove the meat from the pan or just add onion into the pan and cook into clear
3. add above paste and cook until fragrant
4. add vegetables of choice and enough stock to cover. bring to a boil and then simmer until everything is cooked appropriately
5. add yogurt as above
6. enjoy

Friday, August 17, 2007

Goan Fish

1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder (or amount needed for rub)
tilapia filets
rice flour

1. Mix turmeric, salt and chili powder. Pat filets dry and coat with spice rub. Allow to sit for approximately 30 minutes.
2. Dredge fish in mixture of semolina and rice flour.
3. Pan fry fish and serve with rice or bread of choice.

Courtesy of Smita Vyas

Slice of Heaven

3/2 cups water
1 cup oats
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3/2 cups flours
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup evaporated milk
vanilla (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Add oats to boiling water.
2. Mix together butter, sugar, brown sugar. Add eggs to mixture.
3. Sift remainder dry ingredients together and add to sugar/egg mixture. Then add unstrained oats to batter.
4. Place batter in 13 x 9 greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.
5. Mix ingredients for frosting. Frost when cool.
6. Enjoy.

Courtesy of Joel Gardner

Monday, July 9, 2007

Channa Masala (Chole)

(measurements are complete approximates)
1 cup frozen onions and peppers
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp channa masala powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder, to taste
salt to taste
1 can garbanzo beans (drain syrup and then refill with water)
1/2 bottle tomato sauce

1. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic in oil until clear.
2. Add spices and mix until fragrant.
3. Add beans with water and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
4. After simmer for about 15-20 minutes, serve with either rice or bread of choice. Can garnish with cilantro. A little lime juice is a nice touch.

NOTE: I tried making my chole this way with the tomato sauce rather than tomatoes so it is thicker like in the restaurants. I think it somewhat accomplished this. If anyone else has suggestions about how they get their chole "restaurant style," I would be eager to know.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hilton Head - Truffles Cafe

This restaurant was located in Sea Pines Center on the Island. Highlights of the meal included their fish of the day:

Herb-Crusted with MahiMahi with Mediteranean dressing (ordered by my brother-in-law).

Grilled Grouper with Parmesean-Basil Sauce (my dish)
This dish had a nice crust on the bottom with a flavorful creamy sauce on top (but not heavy)

Both meals were served with bread and a their own butter (which I think was a compound butter in cream cheese and garlic/herbs), green beans and mashed potatotes were the vegetables du jour.

Hilton Head - Spice

In Hilton Head this week so not doing much cooking but definitely enjoying good food. Our first meal was from the Island's only Indian restaurant, Spice: a trendy, chic restaurant/lounge that looked like it would fit quite well in NYC or the Mandalay Bay.

We ordered the:
-Baked Chilean Sea Bass "simmered in a delicately spiced sauce of mushrooms, mild onion, and pepper"
-Rogan Josh Dopiaza "Australian lamb piece in an onion, tomato, paprika, and ground red chili sauce"
-Tarka Dal
-Baingan Bhartha "eggplant cooked over charcoal in the tandoor served in a tomato and onion sauce"
-Chana Masala "chick peas in a sauce of ginger, tomato, garlic, and delicate spices"
-Garlic and Coriander Naan Roti
-Keema Naan Roti

Our favorites were the baingan and the chana. The chana tasted like it had achar (pickle) with it...maybe the ginger and some lemon/lime with it. Of course, the naan was well received (especially by 2 year-old Jai).

Some other interesting features of the menu include:
-Curried Crab Shorba "fresh crab meat in a loaded soup, tempered with mustard seed and delicate spices"
-Crab Aloo Bonda "potato and fresh crab meat, blended with curry leaves, garlic and cilantro"
-Samundri Skewer "fresh scallops wrapped in bacon and Wild king Shrimp, on a skewer seasoned with roasted garlic and cilantro"
-Hari-Bhari Tilapia "marinated in a mild sauce flavored with Fenugreek, garlic, chili then tenderized in a green coconut chutney sauce"

Hope this inspires some good eating.

Buffalo Chicken

1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp Tabasco, or to taste
1 tbsp brown sugar
onions and peppers (used 1/4 bag frozen onions and peppers)
2-4 chicken breasts, or cut of choice

1. Combine above ingredients except onions, peppers, and chicken.

2. Place chicken in slow cooker (CrockPot) with onions/peppers. Cover with sauce.

3. Cook for 8 hours (+/- 2 hours) on low, or per manufacture suggestions.*

4. Serve on bread as a sandwich, with greens as a salad, or even with pizza.

*If your slow cooker only has one setting, it is likely low. See your manafacture directions for suggested cooking times.

Courtesy of Jin Shin Kwak

Basil Peanut Noodle Salad

This is a recipe from Bon Appetit (7/2007), please refer there for full details.

1. Combine for dressing:
-peanut oil infused with garlic and ginger
-sesame oil
-soy sauce
-red pepper can be added to the oil or some element of heat to the dressing

2. Toss cold noodles with dressing and julienned green onions. Allow to chill for approximately an hour.

3. Toss with peanuts and basil. Return to refrigerator until ready to serve.

*I was thinking about adding tofu to the recipe but did not know how to go about doing this. Celery also might be nice touch to add some texture or crunch.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mango-Fish Salad

lettuce and/or mix greens
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (remove 1 tablespoon for fish)
1 tbsp lime juice
1 mango, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne or chili powder, to taste
salt to taste
-mix above ingredients and refrigerate (for about 1 hour)

1 lb. light fish (ex. orange roughy, tilapia)
1/2 teaspoon of the following
-chilli powder
-cumin powder
-cilantro powder
-black pepper
olive oil
cilantro from above
-Coat meat with spice mix and then dribble with oil. Garnish with cilantro and broil according to fish (approximately 5-10 minutes on each side).
-Serve on salad either whole or in bite-size pieces.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Egg Curry

1 16 oz bag onions and peppers (1-2 diced onions and peppers)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp (3 tsp) garam masala
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt to taste (approximately 1 tsp)
cayenne pepper to taste (approximately 1/2 tsp)
1 can diced tomato (not drained)
1 can water
8 - 10 boiled eggs

1. Lightly sauté onions, peppers, and garlic in oil.
2. Once soft and nearly translucent, add spices and mix until fragrant.
3. Add tomato, water, eggs; bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes.
4. Garnish with cilantro and serve with bread or rice.

Dal (Lentils)

1 cup lentils (toor or yellow)
4 cups water
2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste (approximately 1/2 tsp)
cayenne pepper to taste (approximately 1/2 tsp)
1-2 tbsp oil
2 tsp minced garlic or 4-5 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp minced ginger
1-2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onions, diced (optional)
1 can whole tomatoes (strained) or 1-2 tomatoes, cut

1. Rinse lentils until clear.
2. In a pot, combine lentils, water, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 30 - 45 minutes.
3. To spice the lentils, you must create a vaghar or tadka (spice-infused oil). To do this, place oil, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, and onions in a small pan or ladle. Heat until the seeds start to pop but make sure not to burn ingredients. Mix vaghar with lentils along with tomato.
4. Garnish with lime / lemon juice, cilantro, and clarified butter (ghee). Serve with rice or bread.

I am up for any suggestions that other people have.

I also have also heard that dal turns out well in a slow cooker (Crock Pot). After bringing lentils to a boil, place in a slow cooker and cook 6-7 hours on low. Then add vaghar and tomatoes and cook an additional hour. For the Gujuratis, dal dhokli is suppose to turn out well also.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Spinach Kofta
-1 bag frozen spinach (or 1 bunch spinach)
-1/2 onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tsp cumin
-1 1/2 cup garbanzo flour (besan)
Either thaw and blanch frozen spinach or just blanch fresh spinach. Then rinse in cold water. Remove excess water and chop finely. Combine everything but the besan. Then slowly add besan until koftas can be formed into balls. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 350F for about 20 minutes (until a toothpick or four comes out clear). (Alternatively, the koftas can be deep-fried in oil and then drained on paper towel).

Zucchini Kofta
-3 zucchini, shredded
-1/2 onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-cayenne pepper to taste
-1 1/2 cup garbanzo flour (besan)
Shred the zucchini using either grater or food processor. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and let sit (to draw out the water). Then add the remaining ingredients except besan and follow directions above for spinach kofta. The zucchini kofta tend to be more wet than the spinach kofta, so you will probably need more besan.

-3 tbsp oil
-1 onion diced
-2 tsp coriander seed
-2 tsp cumin, ground
-1 small cinnamon stick
-1 tsp ground cardamom
-1 tsp turmeric
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp garam masala
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tomato sauce (1 can chopped tomatoes)
-1 tsp imitation coconut flavor*
-1/2 to 1 cup yogurt
-cilantro for garnish

1. Heat oil over low heat and saute onion until golden. Right before onion is ready, add coriander seed and saute until seeds start to jump. Then add remaining spices and saute until fragrant (about 30 - 60 seconds).
2. Stir in tomato sauce (or chopped tomatoes with juice) and coconut flavor. Bring to a boil.
3. Remove from heat and slowly add yogurt until desired consistency acquired.
4. Add koftas of choice and return to heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

*The original recipe called for 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup coconut milk. To reduce the number of calories and carbohydrates, we decided to use imitation coconut flavor instead and add more yogurt. Coconut flavor can be found at your local grocery store. Check the ingredients of the flavor as it may contain alcohol; although the alcohol will evaporate completely during the cooking process, this may not be acceptable by those with an alcohol-free dietary regimen.

Spinach kofta and sauce courtesy of Thalia Palmer

Monday, May 14, 2007

Okra and Tofu

1 packet extra firm tofu
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large onion, chopped (I use a bag of frozen onions and peppers)
1 spoon cumin seed, approximately
1 spoon coriander seed, approximately
1 pinch asafetida powder (optional)
2 spoons tumeric powder
salt and pepper to taste
chili to taste
2-3 tomato, choppes (I used one can of chopped tomato with liquid)
1 bag frozen okra

1. Press tofu to dry and then cut into cubes. Lightly saute or fry the cubes in oil until golden brown (they can also be baked...have not figured out how to do this yet). Then set aside.
2. In a large skillet, place garlic and onions with some oil and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cumin seed, coriander seed, asafetida, tumeric powder, and salt/pepper to taste. Stir until fragrant.
3. Add chili peppers, tomato, and tofu. Bring to a light boil.
4. Add frozen okra and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
5. Serve with bread of choice (roti, naan, etc) or rice.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Mango Pie

graham cracker crust* (or crust of choice such as chocolate)
1 can mango pulp (I believe 30 oz can)
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1/2 cups water, ice cold
1/2 cup water, boiling

1. Place crust in freezer.
2. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and allow to thicken/dissolve (approximately 5 minutes). Then mix in boiling water and mano pulp.
2. Pour mixture into graham cracker crust.
3. Refrigerate until set (a few hours).

You can also garnish the pie with fruit topping of your choice. Last time I used pomegranate seeds. You can either mix the fruit it in at the beginning as you are mixing the pulp with the gelatin water but the fruit will may sink to the bottom of the pie. I waited until the pie was mostly set and then sprinkled the pomegranate on so they floated on top.

*Mix crumbled graham cracker (about 2 cups crumbled graham crackers) with melted butter (1 stick) and 3 tbsp sugar. Press into bottom of pan. Place in oven briefly (5-10 minutes at 350 and then let cool. I also added 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp cardamom powder to crust.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Persian Kabobs

1 tsp ground saffron dissolved in 2 T hot water (can get saffron cheap at trader joes)
1 C fresh lime juice
2 T olive oil
2 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cruhed
2 T zest of orange
2 T yogurt
2 tsp salt
2tsp black pepper
3 lbs boneless chicken cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
5 medium tomatoes, halved (plus other desired vegetables)

juice of 1 lime
1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 above saffron water

2 limes cut in half
parsley springs
2 12 oz packages of lavash bread
6 skewers

1. In a large bowl, combine half the saffron water, lime juice, olive oil, onions, garlic, orange, yogurt, salt and pepper. Beat well with fork. Add the chicken and toss well with marinade. Cover and marinade for at least 8 hrs and up to 2 days in the fridge. Turn chicken over during this time.

2. Add the juice of 1 lime, remaining saffron water, salt and pepper to the melted butter. Mix well and set aside.

3. Start bed of charcoal or preheat oven broiler. Skewer the tomatoes and spear the chicken.

4. Pain the tomatoes, chicken with the basting mixture. Grill 8-15 min of until done. Turn often and baste.

7. Serve on lavash bread. Garnish with lime juice and parsley

Courtesy of Jin Shin Kwak

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Grilled Fruit

I have tried to this recipe with both peaches and pineapple. When using peaches, cut in half and remove pit.

1. Preheat grill
2. Sprinkle fruit with a little cinnamon.
3. Cover with a little honey.
4. Place the fruit on the grill for minute or so and then turn 90 degrees to get grill marks and continue for another minute or so.

You can try adding other spices. I have used cloves with the peaches. A little cayenne pepper might also be interesting or chaat masala for an Indian touch. Enjoy.

Barbequed Ribs

1. Move the bottom rack of the oven to the bottom row; move the top rack to the middle and cover with silver foil. Preheat oven to 200 - 250 degrees.
2. Soak ribs in cola (ie. Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper).
3. Meanwhile, mix the following rub:
-1/4 cup paprika
-1/4 cup chile powder
-2 tsp cumin powder
-2 tsp cayenne pepper
-2 tsp black pepper (coarse ground)
-1 tbsp kosher salt (with a little bit of garlic salt)
4. Cover the ribs with the above rub and let marinade for 30-60 minutes.
5. In a large casserole dish, pour 1 liter of chosen beverage. Add bay leaves and any remaining spice rub. Place the casserole dish on the bottom rack of the oven (so it functions as a steamer).
6. Pour a little beverage over the ribs so they are moist. Be gentle to not wash off the rub.
7. Place the ribs on the top rack. Cook for 2 - 3 hours with intermittent basting. Adjust silver foil to keep them moist.
8. After cooking in the oven, the ribs can then be cooked on the grill for an additional 30 minutes or so.
9. You can use another barbeque sauce or take the casserole dish beverage and cook it down in a pot.

Enjoy and let me know what you think or how you cook your ribs... am definitely interested in other spice rubs that people have.

Red Bean Cake

1. pre-heat oven 350 degrees
2. grease the pan (standard rectangular baking pan)
3. mix everything and pour into pan
*1 pkg of glutinous rice flour (1 pound)
*3 eggs
*2 1/2 c. milk
*1/3 c. oil
*1 1/2 c. sugar
*1 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp baking soda
4. drop in sweet red bean paste (1 can) with spoon
5. bake for 35-45 min until golden on top (no brown)
6. EAT and ENJOY (once it has cooled)!!!

Courtesy of Judy Chiaoshuin Peng

Friday, April 13, 2007

Seitan Korma

Seitan Korma

1 8oz. package of seitan, diced into 1/2" cubes
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
3 green cardamom pods (or 1 black cardamom pod), depodded
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 cup (plain) soy yogurt
1/4 cup water

In a wok (or large saute pan) heat canola or peanut oil and stir-fry the seitan until browned, then remove to a plate and keep warm.Stir-fry the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, until almost caramelized. Add the seitan back to the wok.Grind up the cardamom seeds and clove in a mortar and pestle and add to the onion mix along with the cinnamon stick and ginger. Stir-fry for 45 seconds.Add cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric and stir-fry for another 45 seconds or so.Add 1 cup soy yogurt and a 1/4 cup water and let reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Check for salt and pepper, and add cilantro. Serve over basmati rice.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Broccoli Salad

1 bunch broccoli, cut up
1/2 C finely chopped red onion
1 C raisins
1/2 C chopped celery
1/2 C sunflower seeds

1 C Miracle Whip
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar

Courtesy of Jin Shin Kwak

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stuffed Eggplant

1. Warm baby eggplant in oven so they become slightly soft.
2. In a skillet, lightly brown ground meat with garlic and onions.*
3. While meat is browning, place tomato paste and water in pan (1:2 ratio). Add desired spices and ingredients...I used salt, pepper, garlic, onion, basil, cilantro, paprika, and ginger. Bring the sauce to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
4. Once the meat is browned, take the warmed eggplant and score them. Then cut a large slit lengthwise. Place the meat in the eggplant and then place them in a baking dish. Cover eggplants with remaining meat and then sauce.
5. Bake in oven at 350 until eggplant done (I did for a little over 30 minutes).
6. Garnish and serve.

* You can take bread crumbs and soak them in a milk and then mix this with the meat mixture. This prevent the meat from getting dry. Other possible additives include rice or bulgar.