Rose Falooda {Rose flavored ice cream sundae float}

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An ice cream float with aromatic rose syrup, cool sweet basil seeds, thin noodles, and cold milk topped with creamy vanilla ice-cream and nuts of your choice!!

Summer to us means lots of watermelon, mangoes, lemonade and of course ‘rose falooda’ enjoyed with the company of family and friends. Rose falooda is one my favorite dishes to take along for summer barbecue parties. With so much focus on there grill people seem to forget about unique drinks! This super easy recipe is a sure crowd pleaser with it’s refreshing flavors.  It does not require any cooking once you have few ingredients on hand – Rose syrup, sweet basil seeds, low fat milk, cooked thin noodles (ok one quick thing to cook) and some vanilla ice cream. Continue reading “Rose Falooda {Rose flavored ice cream sundae float}”

Tandoori Chicken

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Spicy chicken marinated in yogurt, kashmiri red chili powder, fresh ginger-garlic, garam masala and then grilled to perfection! Tandoori chicken, is a classic indian dish that is healthy, easy to cook and a definite crowd pleaser. Whenever I have to take a dish to a summer party, this is the dish that comes to mind. So here is something you might want to try for 4th of July this year. Continue reading “Tandoori Chicken”

Thai Massaman Curry

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We love Thai food. Probably because of its similarities to Indian food… the spicy curries, the coconut, the fragrant rice. Today’s Thai recipe dates back to Christmas 2008 when we visited our friends, Punitha and Winston, in Atlanta. It was our first time meeting Punitha and boy did she spoil us with her delicious cooking!! On the last day of our stay she made an amazing Thai meal featuring her massaman curry recipe and I’ve been making her recipe ever since. It always comes out perfect and is eaten up in no-time! My boys love it. This is a quick weeknight recipe that can be served with some steamed Jasmine rice.

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Kale-Potato Parathas{flatbreads}

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I was introduced to Kale years ago when I first ate Kale chips. Since then I have  come across several articles that helped me understand all the nutritional benefits of kale. It is jam-packed with vitamins, fiber and several dietary minerals. Given it is so readily available in stores, I tried it as chips, in salads and then slowly introduced it in my Indian cooking. My latest experiment with Kale is making multi-layered, laccha parathas with blanched kale, potatoes, green chilies and lots of garlic. My boys who love parathas, loved these parathas and now we enjoy them frequently for breakfast, lunch and dinner! For me it’s a great way to incorporate Kale in our diets. Continue reading “Kale-Potato Parathas{flatbreads}”

Pan fried Pompano/Pomfret

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Spiced, shallow fried Pomfret is a delicacy back home in Maharashtra.  Pomfret, also known as pompano or butterfish is very popular in South Asia as it is abundant in the surrounding oceans. In 2003, Arti, my sister from Singapore was visiting and while shopping at the local Korean store she noticed the fish, labeled pompano, in the seafood department. Arti makes the most amazing fish and was very confident it was the same as my favorite pomfret. It had been years since I had the delicious fish! She had the fish monger cut us perfect steaks and when we made it that evening it felt like I was back home eating my mom’s fried pomfret. Since that day, I have made pomfret in many different ways but this simple recipe is still my favorite! Continue reading “Pan fried Pompano/Pomfret”

Roasted garlicky eggplant

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I love eggplants for their versatility and flavor. I like baby eggplants, the long Japanese eggplant, Italian eggplant – they all go so well with so many different cuisines. I love indian curries but to be honest sometimes even with my stocked up spice panty its quiet a lot of work and cleanup to make them. For my weeknight dinners I like simple and lighter recipes. Recipes that enhance the basic flavor of fresh veggies instead of masking them up with a ton of spice. Many people ask me if I cook everyday and if I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. My answer is – yes I do cook most days but I do not spend more than 45 minutes on my weeknight meals. Continue reading “Roasted garlicky eggplant”

Ginger Lemonade

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Now that it is actually feeling like summer and memorial day is almost around the corner I want to share this recipe with you. Its my favorite lemonade recipe with a kick of fresh spicy and aromatic – ginger. My memories of Indian summers are hot and lazy days, off from school, hanging out with friends and cousins. Growing up, it was a ritual at my home, everyday, to make a giant jar of lemonade in the morning. We would then serve it to the family and friends that would visit us during the day! No one ever refused the offer of fresh homemade lemonade when they arrived from the scorching sun outside. My mom, always added ginger and for me lemonade always must have fresh ginger. The first time when my husband, Ravi tasted it, he related it to the fresh sugarcane juice in India. Only then I realized that there was something very different about this lemonade. It was the freshly grated ginger, with its aroma and spicy kick, that made it – oh so refreshing and delicious!

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Ginger tamarind brussels sprouts

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Since I started blogging just over a 6 months ago now, I have discovered some amazing food blogs and recipes. I love how each one of us has a unique style. I recently came across a beautiful blog – abrowntable.com– where the author Nik has stunning photography and lovely recipes. One of his recipes that caught my attention right away was the ginger tamarind brussels sprouts. Ginger is my latest love in cooking, for the most part when I see ginger as one of the main ingredients I want to try the recipe right away. One of my recent post – Beet Salad -A celebration recipe also uses ginger and I love the spice and flavor it creates to the dish. I usually roast my brussels sprouts or make a cold salad by shaving it thin. I was happy to see this recipe and the photos made my mouth water wanting to make this asap!

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Homemade Paneer{Indian cottage cheese}

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Back to basics today. I have to confess that it took me literally years before I tried making paneer at home. Still, at times, I use the store-bought paneer, of course only after checking that it does not have any extra additives or preservatives. Homemade paneer by far has the freshest taste and beautiful soft texture. It is super easy to make with just 2 basic ingredients! So if you have time or can plan ahead homemade paneer is the way to go.

Paneer is fresh unsalted white cheese used in Indian cooking, that can be made at home with just whole milk and lemon juice! It has a very mild creamy flavor and crumbly texture that goes well with many curries and desserts!

Fresh paneer can be grilled on skewers for some fun kebabs and also used in sandwiches, wraps and pita pockets! It is a very versatile ingredient to use in Indian curries like Palak Paneer , Matar Paneer or Paneer Tikka Masala. Homemade paneer can also be used in making many Indian desserts, I love making delicious homemade Rasmalai!

Here is a step by step recipe:

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Crispy Spinach, Mushroom and Onion Quesadillas

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Didn’t I say we love festivals? As if Indian festivals that come almost every other week aren’t enough for us, we are always looking for a new holiday to celebrate and to make something special. Like yesterday, May 4th, after a long school-day and a crazy work-day, the boys  and I spent couple of hours right before dinner time, decorating star wars cookies!! May the fourth be with you! It was so much fun decorating and eating those scrumptious cookies. Please don’t ask what we had for dinner 🙂

Today for cinco de mayo, I really wanted to make fish tacos with homemade corn tortillas. I have not made corn tortillas in a while and now that I was ready to make it I could not find my tortilla press. I probably misplaced it during my recent kitchen renovation. So those corn tortillas and tacos will have to wait for now. Instead, I decided to make quesadillas using most of the ingredients that I usually have in my refrigerator – mushrooms, spinach, onions, whole wheat tortillas (store-bought of course) and some pepper jack cheese!

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Beet Salad -A celebration recipe

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For my birthday this year, a good friend of mine gave me an amazing book – ‘Share’ : A cookbook that celebrates our common humanity by Women for Women International (WFWI). The underlying message of Share is simple: for all our apparent diversity―as individuals, societies and nations―our actions, however small, can have an exponential, positive influence both on the world and the lives of others. Nothing more beautifully conveys our interdependence than the food we eat. The recipes featured in this uplifting book―provided by contributors who are all actively engaged in humanitarian issues, as well women from the eight countries in which Women for Women International (WfWI) work.

I am in love with the illustrations in this book. The night I received this book, I was up past midnight going through it. One recipe that caught my eye right away, was a beet salad recipe by Zainab Salbi, founder of women for women international. I love beets and it had many ingredients that I use everyday. Last weekend I finally decided to make this recipe.  As I was making it, I wasn’t sure how it would come together. However, when I tasted it, the flavors were out of this world! The flavors of sesame seeds, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh ginger along with all the chopped veggies were heavenly. This probably is one of my most favorite salads and I am going to make this again and again.

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I made some changes to the original recipe. Instead of using raw beets, I used roasted beets. I also replaced carrots with fresh orange bell pepper that is now in season and I added some grape tomatoes. I followed the rest of the recipe and it indeed was a celebration of colors and taste on my plate and my mouth!

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Stir fried Tindora {Ivy Gourd}

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Ivy gourd, also known as Tendli, Tindora or Tondle is a tropical vegetable that grows on a vine. It looks like baby cucumber, with a very mild crunchy taste. I remember eating it in a very typical rice dish called “Tondle bhath” which was served with a cool buttermilk drink flavored with cilantro and fresh ginger. In 2010 when my mom was visiting me she taught me this amazing stir fry version that can be enjoyed with Parathas. It is a simple recipe that starts with a tempering mustard seeds and then cooking the tindora with turmeric, cashews, green chilies. Finish up by garnishing with fresh coconut, lemon juice and sugar. The outcome is a very unique combination of flavors as well as textures, the soft and juicy tindora, creamy cashews and the crispiness of the coconut in a mildly spiced sweet and sour tindora stir fry.

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