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Category Archives: Indian Cuisine

Phirni- Indian Rice Pudding

August 13, 2017

Phirni is a rice pudding like dessert common in the Middle East. It is also popular in Kashmir and other parts of North India. I have known about it since I was tiny. My Mom would make it for us in individual bowls, especially when we had people over for dinner. It is a creamy concoction of milk and sugar. The milk is thickened with rice and flavored with crushed cardamom seeds. It can be topped with chopped almonds and pistachios.

  • ½ cup rice
  • ½ cup water

Soak rice in water for 2-3 hours. Blend the mixture in a blender by first adding the wet rice and ¼ cup water. Gradually add the rest of the water and blend till smooth. Keep aside.

  • 4 cups milk (whole milk or low fat)
  • ¾ cup sugar (adjust according to taste)
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 4-5 cardamom pods, ground

Garnish

  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 cardamom pods, ground
  • ¼ cup pistachios, ground

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer the milk. Add the sugar, almonds and cardamom. Gradually add the rice mixture while stirring constantly. Keep stirring till the mixture thickens up like a custard. Cook for another 3-4 minutes on low heat, stirring constantly.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with almonds, ground cardamom and pistachios.

South Indian Style Tomato Rice

June 25, 2017

This is my version of a classic South Indian style tomato rice- mine is made with brown rice.  No one was able to tell which rice was used. It is a great side dish accompanied by a protein or it is a great main to eat with a fried egg on top… either way, it is delicious!

  • 1 cup brown jasmine rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Bring the water, salt and oil to a boil. Add the rice and simmer on medium low heat with partial lid on for 10 minutes. Cover with lid and turn to low and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes. Fluff with fork once the rice is cooked and keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt

Heat a frying pan with the coconut oil. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves and curry leaves. Saute on medium heat for a minute. Add the onion and ginger and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, coriander powder, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Saute on low heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the cooled rice, mix well and check for seasonings. Serve right away.

Brown Rice Vegetable Pulao

May 21, 2017
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Heat a saucepan with the butter and oil. Add the rinsed brown rice and sauté on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the broth and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered with lid for 30 minutes or till rice is done. Let cool and keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup dill, chopped

Heat a wide frying pan with the oil and add the cumin and sauté for 10 seconds. Add the pepper, beans, onion, garlic and salt. Saute on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and dill as well as the cooked and cooled rice. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or till the rice is heated through. Check for seasonings and serve.

 

Chicken Curry with Dill and Cilantro

May 9, 2017

If you like going out for Indian food but are too scared to try cooking something at home… try this dish. It is easy to make and the ingredients are readily available. The garam masala is a challenge as the varieties available in stores are not as good but you can still use one or just eliminate it. Either way, the result is delicious and healthy…

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, skinless, with or without bone
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Mix the yogurt, half and half, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, salt and garam masala in a small bowl. Transfer the chicken and the marinade to a zip lock bag for at least 2 hours if not over night in the fridge. Take out half an hour before cooking.

  • 1 cup fresh dill
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 10 to 12 green onions
  • ½ cup water

Blend the greens and water in a blender till smooth. Keep aside.

  • 3 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • ½ cup tomato sauce, homemade or store bought
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat a heavy saucepan with the oil. Add the green dill sauce and sauté on medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper and sauté for another minute. Add the chicken with the marinade. Bring to a boil and cover with a lid and simmer on a low medium heat for 20 minutes. Take the lid off and turn the heat up to cook away any extra liquid in the sauce, stirring constantly. Check for seasonings. Serve warm with fresh rotis.

 

Roasted Eggplant with Peas

April 2, 2017
  • 1 medium sized eggplant

Place the eggplant on to a grill or under a broiler. Char the skin from all sides, making sure the eggplant is nice is tender once done- about 10 to 15 minutes. Keep aside and let cool, take skin off and mash with a fork.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons stems of fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons stems of fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup peas
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

Heat a heavy saucepan with the oil. Add the dill, cilantro, onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the coriander powder, turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper. Saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and sauté for an addition 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes. Add the peas, cilantro and dill. Mix well and let cook for 5 to 6 minutes or till the peas are heated through. Check for seasonings and serve warm.

Cauliflower and Potatoes with Mustard Seeds

March 12, 2017

Nothing like starting the week with delicious and healthy cauliflower. If you follow my recipes- you know I make a lot of this cruciferous veggie and this one is especially easy and yummy….

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cup cilantro, stems cut up and chopped and separated from the leaves
  • 3 to 4 medium yellow potatoes, chopped into 1 inch dice
  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into small florets, about 1 inch
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

Heat a large saucepan with the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Cook for 30 seconds on medium heat and add the onion, ginger and cilantro leaves. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook on medium heat, constantly stirring for 5 to 6 minutes or till golden brown. Add the cauliflower florets, turmeric, coriander powder, salt and cayenne pepper and sauté for another 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the heat down and cover for about 5 minutes or till the potatoes and cauliflower are cooked through. Turn heat down and check for seasonings. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake with Cardamom

February 28, 2017

My blood orange obsession continues with this yummy cake- I love citrus with cardamom, so I tried it in this recipe and it was a big success!

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice and zest of 1 large blood orange
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease, line with parchment paper, grease again and flour a 9- inch round cake pan.

Blend sugar and eggs in a standing mixer on medium speed until blended and light- about 2 to 3 minutes. Add olive oil, vanilla extract, blood orange juice and zest. Blend until light and smooth. Whisk together the flour, cardamom powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low to incorporate. Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool and dust with confectioners sugar.

Blood Orange Compote

  • 4 blood oranges, peel and supreme (section into segments), juice included
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Add the orange segments, juice and honey to a small bowl. Let sit for an hour.

  • 1 cup whipped cream

Serve the cake with some blood orange compote and a dollop of whipped cream.