Friday, February 19, 2016

Stuffed Masala Drumsticks

Drumsticks (also known as Shing or Moringa), are a simple and easy vegetable to prepare and eat. It can be paired with rice and lentils/dal. In my family, we traditionally eat it with chaptiwala rotla/ jada rotla/ khoba roti, which is a thick flour flatbread inlaid with a pattern. A drumstick pairs well with this dish and is a healthy addition.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4

  • 8 drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
  • Approximately 1/2 cup water
  1. In a bowl, mix the coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt together to create the stuffing masala.
  2. Rinse, peel, and chop the drumsticks into 3 to 4 inch pieces.
  3. Make a slit lengthwise in each piece and stuff the pieces with the masala. Keep any leftover masala on the side.
  4. Heat oil in a vessel or a pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Add a pinch of asafoetida,once the seeds start to crackle.
  5. Add all of the drumsticks, stir and spread them around the vessel to create a single layer. Add water and cover the vessel with a lid.
  6. After five minutes turn the drumsticks over, add all remaining leftover masala and cook well until they become tender.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with dal & rice or with chaptiwala rotla.

Sarson Ka Saag

This recipe of Sarson Ka Saag (mustard greens and spinach) is a simple one, just the way I like and the way it is traditionally cooked. This saag is a winter favorite especially when vegetable markets are loaded with fresh greens. Sarson ka saag is typically eaten with makki ki roti. Try this recipe. I'm sure you will like it!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serving: 4

  • 1 bunch of mustard leaves (approx. 4 cups packed)
  • 1 bunch of spinach (approx. 4 cups packed)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of corn flour
  • 2 inches ginger, grated
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 to 6 green chillies, chopped (adjust according to your taste)
  • 2 to 3 dry red chillies
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ghee
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon shredded ginger for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves
  1. Mix the corn flour with water and keep aside. Clean all of the greens thoroughly with water and chop the leaves coarsely.
  2. In a pan, boil 2 cups of water and add the mustard leaves and the spinach.
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, half portions of the garlic, the ginger, and the green chillies. Let it cook on medium heat for approx. 15 to 20 minutes until the greens are well cooked and soft. Turn off the stove.
  4. Take the greens mixture and with a blender create a smooth paste.
  5. Add the corn flour mixture into the paste and now cook on low heat for another 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. In a separate pan, heat ghee, add the dry red chillies, the onion, and sauté until the onion is golden brown.
  7. Add the remaining ginger, garlic and green chillies, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes
  8. Add mustard and spinach leaves (saag) paste
  9. Add salt according to taste
  10. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes
  11. Garnish with shredded ginger and coriander leaves
  12. Serve saag hot with makki ki roti
In order to retain the green color of the saag, do not cover the pan while cooking.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Idli Sandwich

An idli sandwich is very easy to make. I usually make this dish from leftover idli from a prior meal or sometimes I'll just make extra idli for it. It is one of my favorite snacks to munch on the next day. Essentially, I use idli as a substitute for bread. The rest of the procedure is the same as your normal bread sandwich. It is a unique way to transform idli into a sandwich - a funky food for fussy kids. Try this recipe to surprise your family. You won't regret it and they will gobble it up!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Leftover idli (with 8 idli, you may make 16 slices)
  • Green Coriander Chutney
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced 
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • Sandwich masala
  • Ketchup
  • Oil (to shallow fry idli)
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and cut all the idlis in the middle, through from the sides, to slice into two parts.
  2. Shallow fry the idlis until they are medium golden brown on both sides. Repeat for all of them. May be done simultaneously depending on the size of your pan.
  3. Apply green chutney to one side of all the idlis. Then, place cucumber slices, tomato slices and onion slices over half the idlis. Sprinkle some sandwich masala on top.
  4. Cover them with remaining of the slices of idlis and slice into triangles.
  5. Serve hot with green chutney and ketchup.
If you have round molds, you can just follow the same procedures.

Leftover idli

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

South Indian Coconut Chutney

South Indian coconut chutney is a favorite of mine because of how good it tastes and how easy it is to make. Essentially, it's a blend of fresh coconut with chilies, ginger and a mix of tempered mustard seeds. Special to this recipe and the source of the taste you will love are the additions of roasted chana dal, tamarind paste, cumin seeds, garlic and curry leaves. Coconut chutney is a perfect accompaniment to the staple varieties from South India such as Dosas, Idlis and Vadas. Your meal will be complete with this chutney!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serving: 4


For the chutney:
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons roasted chana dal
  • 2 to 3 green chilies 
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1/2 clove garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
For the tempering/tadka:
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (split, skinned black gram dal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oil
  1. Grind together all of the chutney ingredients with a small amount of water until it has a smooth consistency
  2. Heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the urad dal and fry until the it becomes light brown
  3. Then add curry leaves, dry red chili and asafoetida
  4. Fry for a minute and then pour the tempering on the coconut chutney and mix it well
  5. Chutney is ready to serve with your favorite South Indian dishes