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Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani- Black Lentils with a Cream Sauce

October 23, 2016

Diwali is coming up and this is a must in our house… people typically make this lentil dish for a special occasion but it is so simple… you can make it any day you want… yum!

  • 1 cup whole urad dal (black lentils)
  • ¼ cup rajma (red kidney beans)
  • ¼ cup channa dal (gram lentils)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons half and half

In a pressure cooker or sauce-pan, add the urad dal, rajma, channa dal, water, crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, salt, cayenne pepper, coriander powder, turmeric and ghee. If using a pressure cooker, then close the lid and cook on high till the pressure is built, then turn the heat on low and cook for an hour. Turn the heat off, and take the lid off- check the consistency. The dal should be like a thick soup or a think stew. If there is excess liquid, then turn the heat on high and begin to evaporate the liquid. Add the garam masala and half and half. Cook till the dal reaches desired consistency. Taste for seasonings.
If using a sauce-pan, then bring the mixture to a boil and lower the heat, cook for at least 2 hours or till the lentils are soft and mushy. Add the garam masals and half and half. Cook till the dal reaches desired consistency. Taste for seasonings.

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Seekh Kebab with Cardamom

Seekh Kebab

October 19, 2016

Here is something you can make with a salad.. these are always a hit and easy to make..

  • 1 lb ground turkey (dark meat is ideal, you can also use pork or lamb)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 1-3 Serrano chilies deseeded
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1-3 green cardamoms
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg

Wooden skewers soaked in water for 2-3 hours.

Mince the onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, cilantro, cardamoms, salt, garam masala, coriander powder and cayenne pepper in a food processor. Add the ground turkey to a large mixing bowl and mix in the onion mixture. Add the egg and mix thoroughly but not too much, (over mixing can toughen the meat). Take each skewer and place a hand full of meat mixture evenly around it creating a long thin kebab. Place all the skewers either on a grill or a hot skillet. Cook till done.  Serve with cilantro chutney.

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Chicken Parm with Broccoli Rabe Pesto1

Chicken Parmesan

October 18, 2016
  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoon Unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups homemade marinara sauce
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese sliced

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.  Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate.  On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt.  On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.  Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.  Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through.   Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.

Lay the cooked chicken pieces in an oven proof casserole.  Ladle spoons of marinara sauce over all the chicken pieces.  Add the mozzarella slices on top and bake for 5-10 minutes in a 350 degrees oven until cheese is melted.  Serve with pasta or in a sandwich.

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Coconut Chicken

Coconut Chicken Curry

October 17, 2016

I taught this dish yesterday in one of my cooking classes and it came out delicous. When I was testing the dish, I started with something completely different. It was okay, tasted fine but it didn’t stand out. So I decided to add some mustard seeds, crushed tomatoes and onions. That made a big difference in the taste and texture of the gravy. I love going out for south-indian food, especially since I am from the north. I then like to come home and try to replicate the dishes to the best of my ability. Hope you enjoy my version of a south-indian chicken dish!

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch pieces


  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3-4 inch ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 1 medium white onion sliced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup low fat coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro for garnish

Mix all 5 ingredients and marinate the chicken for 2 to 3 hours. In a heavy saucepan heat the olive oil and add the mustard seeds, cook for about a minute until the seeds begin to sizzle. Add the chicken with the marinade, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, salt, garam masala and sauté for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Add the onions and cook for 5-6 minutes while the chicken cooks. Add the crushed tomatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and let it simmer till the sauce thickens. Adjust seasoning and add the cilantro.

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Pasta with Potatoes and Green Beans

Linguini with Haricot Vert, Potatoes and Pesto

October 16, 2016

Perfect dish for meatless Mondays! I have made this dish many times but I decided to jazz it up a bit with adding my own homemade croutons. It’s not in the recipe below but it’s quite simple. I took a baguette and diced it into 1 inch squares. I then cooked some grated garlic in olive oil, drizzled it all over the cut up bread on a cookie sheet and baked the whole thing for 5 minutes- and voila.. I had yummy croutons. It adds a great crunch to the dish…

  • 2 medium yellow skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Heat a wide frying pan with the butter and olive oil. Add the potatoes and sauté on medium high heat, stirring, for about 4 to 5 minutes or till the potatoes are golden brown and cooked through. Take out of the pan and keep aside.

  • 2 cups Haricot vert, trimmed
  • ½ pound linguini
  • Salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the beans. Cook for a minute and immediately place under cold water, dry and keep aside. Add the pasta in the same boiling water and cook till done. Drain and spare half cup of the pasta water.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup basil pesto, homemade or store bought (recipe follows)
  • Salt

Reheat the frying pan and add the olive oil. Return the potatoes to the pan with the green beans, pesto, pasta and the ½ cup pasta water. Mix well and heat everything through on medium heat. Check for seasonings and serve.

Basil Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt

In a food processor, add the garlic and pine nuts. Process till smooth. Add the fresh basil and while the processor is on, drizzle the olive oil slowly till the consistency is smooth and wet. Take out in a bowl and add the cheese, lemon juice and salt. Store in the fridge.


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Beef and Spinach Enchiladas 2

Beef, Mushrooms and Spinach Enchiladas

October 12, 2016

I am very proud of this recipe. The enchiladas were absolutely delicious. They are great for through the week as they don’t take very long to make but they are also great for entertaining. You can eliminate the beef and keep them vegetarian or add shrimp instead- either way, they are the best enchiladas you will every eat!!

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 10 ounces Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté on medium heat. Add the beef and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat, while stirring constantly. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add salt, smoked paprika and ground coriander. Mix well and check for seasonings and keep aside.

  • 3 cups tomato sauce, either store bought or homemade
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Bring the tomato sauce to a boil. Add the chipotle sauce, smoked paprika and salt. Add the cilantro and check for seasonings and keep aside.

  •  6 to 8 corn/flour tortillas
  • Mexican blend grated cheese
  • One 9X13 oven-proof dish
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Dip a tortilla into the tomato sauce. Add about a quarter cup of beef filling and a teaspoon of shredded cheese. Roll the tortilla and place onto the dish with seam side down. Repeat for the rest of the tortillas. Cover with about two cups of the tomato sauce. Top with half cup of shredded cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Take foil off , garnish with cilantro and scallions and serve.




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Healthy Tartare Sauce

Healthy Tartare Sauce

October 11, 2016

This is a great sauce for the fish and chips from yesterday but this is a great accompaniment with any meat or vegetables…

  • ½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper

Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Let it sit for an hour before serving.

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