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November 2009
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A Delectable Vegetarian Recipe: Green Beans and Potatoes

November 3, 2009   

Green Beans and Potatoes

We made this dish for a cooking class I just taught last night. It was a birthday celebration and the ladies wanted to learn some South Indian style dishes. We cooked the coconut chicken curry and the potatoes and green beans. 

I am from North India and anything cooked in mustard seeds and curry leaves reminds me of a South Indian dish- so when I was trying to come up with a menu I thought of the potatoes and green beans simply cooked in mustard seeds and curry leaves. The dominant flavors come from these spices and the lemon juice enhanced it even more.

The dish took all of half an hour to make and results were wonderful. Everyone enjoyed the dinner. This vegetable dish complemented the chicken really well. They both have similar flavors but yet tasted very different. 

This dish is perfect to cook with a roast chicken or even for Thanksgiving. It’s that time of year and the big feast is already on my mind. This would be ideal for the big dinner, especially since it is so easy to make. It is very versatile and will go with any kind of cuisine. Definitely a keeper.

Well, I think the ladies really enjoyed all the dishes including the carrot pudding… it was a successful class and a fun evening.

  • 2 cups green beans, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 large red potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch squares
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cayenne pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped


In a wide frying pan, add the olive oil. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Saute on medium high heat till the seeds begin to sizzle. Add the green beans and potatoes- mix well and sauté high heat. Add the coriander powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Mix well and lower the heat and cover with the lid. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes or till the potatoes are tender. Take the lid off and check for seasonings. Add the lemon juice and cilantro, mix well and serve.

Palak Murgh- A Spinach and Chicken Recipe

November 2, 2009   

Palak Chicken I love, love this dish. I am sure some of you out there are probably thinking, “she says that about everything she posts”. I can’t help myself, I love food so much- especially good food that is spiced well and made out of fantastic ingredients and is healthy. You can’t have a better combination as far as I am concerned.

So, my daughter devours this dish every time I make it. She usually reminds me to make it for her- I am usually so busy putting new recipes together that I forget to make the basic things in my repertoire. This one is quite simple to make and is a one pot meal- well, kind of. I serve it with some homemade rotis and there you have it. It has a healthy protein and lots of spinach. I am very happy and satisfied when I feed this dish to my family.

The flavor is out of this world. Something about the spinach cooked in lots of cumin seeds- it’s an amazing combination. The chicken takes on a delicious savory flavor amongst all the spices, onion, ginger and garlic. Even though it is not cooked for a very long time, the dish has a very slow cooked, soul food feel to it. In my mind it’s simply perfection- every time I eat it, I remember how much I love it.

This concoction is usually not available at restaurants. Palak paneer is usually served instead, which is similar to this but has paneer instead of chicken. My maternal grandma used to make. My Mom has made it for us as long as I can remember and I plan to pass it on to my daughter.
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Coconut Cabbage with Peas

November 1, 2009   

Coconut Cabbage with Peas

After getting back from Italy it took us a while to get back into our usual routine. We all love Italian food but once we got back, we craved other cuisines. We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant the next day and ate some Indian food out of the freezer for dinner.
I soon filled the fridge with groceries and started thinking about cooking again- it’s very hard to get back into it… Pasta kept coming to mind but I knew I wanted to make some vegetarian Indian food. We had consumed quite a bit of meat including salami and prosciutto and wanted to take a break.
While I was in Trader Joes, I picked up a pack of shredded cabbage. I usually never buy the packaged kind but then I get too lazy to buy the whole cabbage and shred it myself. My husband loves cabbage made a specific way with mustard seeds and curry leaves. I never end up making it because of my laziness. So, when I saw the packed cabbage, I picked it up and decided to make him happy.
It’s a very simple dish- the flavor is wonderful with the mustard seeds and curry leaves. I added some shredded coconut to give it a nice crunch and sweetness. I also added frozen peas to give the dish color. It took all of 20 minutes to make. I plan to serve it with lentils and freshly made rotis (Indian bread).
It is great to go on vacation and experience a different culture but it is fabulous to come home and eat food that reminds me of childhood….
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