You can either use Swiss Chard or this Rainbow Chard variety. I always buy these leafy veggies from Whole Foods. They are organic and very fresh (as you can see from this picture).
1. Separate the leaves from the stems. Finely chop the stems and julienne the leaves.
2. Saute 1 medium onion finely chopped with 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste in olive oil. Add the following Indian spices/herbs : 1/2 tsp chopped cilantro, 1 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp chilli (dry red cayenne) powder and 1/4 tumeric powder.
3. As the onions start turning translucent, add in the chopped stems. Saute for about 5 mins. Add salt to taste at this point.
4. Add 1 finely chopped (medium) tomato and saute for 2 min. Mix in 1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup.
5. Add in the chopped chard leaves. Cook and stir until the chard is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes.
6. Add in 2 tablespoons of Philly Original Cooking Creme. Alternatives (especially for folks in India - use the Malai/Milk Cream that is used in the Methi Malai Mutter). Cook and stir for about 3 min
7. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
This is a pretty simple recipe I adapted watching my sister in law prepare it. The recipe was handed down to her by a true Italian living in her neighborhood.
Please excuse my presentation.I was trying to get that perfect slice..but there is always next time. Since this was my first try, I was trying to focus more on the taste..better presentation coming up in version 2.0 of this recipe (with more coffee, cognac, real egg whites and a little less sugar)
3 large eggs (*or pasteurized egg substitute).
1 cup espresso or strong coffee
1/2 cup sugar.
4 Tbsp. cognac or brandy
8 oz. Mascarpone
Unsweetened Cocoa (1/2 cup)
Ladyfingers (for layering)
Step 1: Combine 3 egg yolks, 1 Tbsp. espresso, sugar and cognac in large mixing bowl. Beat 2-3 minutes. Add Mascarpone and beat 3-5 minutes until smooth.
Step 2: In another bowl, combine 3 egg whites and a pinch of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into Mascarpone mixture. (*If using egg substitute, skip Step 2 and beat until stiff peaks.)
Step 3: Layer (single) the lady fingers on the bottom of a serving dish. In the cup of strong coffee mix in 2 Tbsp of Cognac and about 1 tsp of Cocoa powder. Spread the coffee mixture on the ladyfingers, so that it soaks. Spread the Mascarpone mixture and sprinkle with Cocoa.
Step 4: Create at least 2 layers using Step 3. If you use a smaller dish, you should be able to stack at least 3 layers (recommended).
You can either freeze the dish for 2 hours and set it 30 mins at room temperature before serving or just refrigerate at least 3 hours. I found the freezing method adds a nice chilled bite to this dessert.
I like it served cold, with a dash of Baileys Irish Cream (Coffee flavor) over a slice… Pure Indulgence!!
This is a fairly easy recipe. It all started with a visit to our local Farmers market when I saw a pack of fresh blue crab lump meat and ice lettuce right next to it, along with scallions and green peppers…and viola, this creation!
You will need :
1 lb of fresh blue crab lump meat
3 tsp chopped garlic (keep about a tsp for the crab mixture - see below)
1 tbsp ginger - julienne (legthwise - 1inch strips)
1/2 cup finely chopped green peppers
1 cup finely chopped scallions (aka spring onions - leave some for garnish)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp finely chopped green chilli peppers (hot - use the indian store bought)
crushed black pepper
sriracha chilli sauce
red chilli oil (refer recipe here)
1. Saute the chopped green chilies in olive oil, add ginger/garlic/a pinch of the chopped cilantro. Add 1-2 tsp of sriracha, crushed black pepper and chilli oil. Saute this mixture well. You can get creative here depending on how spicy you want this
2. Add chopped green peppers and finally add in the chopped scallions.
3. Add soy sauce. I use the lite kind (less sodium)
4. Add in the corn flour and saute until the mixture is coated well. (should be about 5-7 mins).
5. Remove from pan and set aside.
6. In the same pan, add a little more oil, add in the remaining garlic. Add in some of the spice mixture (sriracha, chilli oil, black pepper)
7. Add in the crab meat and mix in the soy sauce
8. Add in the sauted mixture of scallions/green peppers.
9. Mix well and garnish with chopped scallions
10. Serve it with lettuce leaves and chilli oil.
Stir fry spicy snow peas
Heat 2 tsp olive oil
Add 2 tsp chopped garlic, a little chilli oil or red pepper flakes, crushed black pepper and 2 tsp soy sauce
Add in the snow peas and sauté until the snow peas turn slightly brown.
- Boneless chicken breasts (2lbs), cubed
(Veggies - substitute with thinly sliced paneer or boiled potato cubes)
- Ginger paste , 1tsp
- Garlic paste, 1tsp
- 1 Onion (medium), finely chopped
- 1 Onion (medium), thinly sliced (topping for the roll)
- 1 Tomato (medium), finely chopped
- Fresh cilantro - finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Chilli(Cayenne pepper) powder, 1tsp
- Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder, 1/2 tsp
- Chat masala (or Sandwich masala) powder, 1/4 tsp
- Dry mango (amchur) powder, 1/4 tsp
- 2 cups refined flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
Method : Filling
- Heat olive oil, add ginger & garlic paste with a pinch of chopped cilantro and some garam masala powder. Stir in well with the oil
- Add the finely chopped onions
- Once the onions start turning translucent, add in the turmeric powder. Stir well
- Add in the chilli powder, stir
- Add in the chicken cube and stir the mixture, so that the cubes are coated well (At this point, you can also add in the boiled potato or paneer )
Pic below is of the potato mixture
- Add in the chat masala and dry mango powder (amchur)
- Saute until chicken or veggie’s (potatoes /paneer) are cooked. Shut the stove
The key thing to note here is this preparation has the right blend of spices - garam masala, chat/amchur. Go easy on the amchur powder as you dont want it to over power the taste but have a subtle flavor
- In a bowl, mix in the thinly sliced onions, chat masala, a little amchur and lemon juice with salt/pepper. We will use this as a filling.
Making the tortilla roll
- Knead into a dough - refined flour with water and a little oil & salt
- Roll into a circular shape and grill on the tawa
For those, who are not familiar with the Indian flat bread (roti), I recommend buying the roti’s from an Indiam grocery store. There are quite a few varieties in the frozen section…OR
- Also, For the folks in the US, I would recommend going to a specialty store like Trader joes where they have some really good tortilla’s (both the whole wheat variety and the regular flour kinds)
- The key here is that , the tortilla needs to be a light tasting bread. Message me if you have any questions on the roll
Rolling the ‘Frankie’
This video should explain it all….
- Boneless chicken breasts (2lbs), cubed
This simple preparation has always been a favorite. A recipe that has been passed down for generations.
‘Neer Dosa’ literal meaning is ‘Water Crepe’. Neer = Water (in Kanada, Tulu and a few Indian languages), Dosa = Crepe. The key to making great neer dosa’s is to get that rice batter right.
I am not going to put any quantity in here. The amount of batter you make is directly proportional to the rice you will use. Lets start with 4 cups of rice. We prefer to use Basmati white rice (which is also the type of white rice we use in our regular cooking). This has also been made with boiled rice varieties.
- Soak the rice in water overnight.
- When ready to grind, drain and rinse.
- Using a blender, grind the rice with water to make a runny batter (see the video and pics for the consistency of the batter)
- Add salt as per taste
(Note : some recipes call for fermentation. I believe it can be skipped. I have also seen the use of coconut in these..trying to make this as simple as possible)
Method:Making the Crepe
- Heat a flat griddle (tawa), add a little oil so that it spreads across the griddle
- The batter needs to spread with a ladle. We usually just move the tawa around so that that batter spreads across the entire pan.
- There is no need to flip the dosa. It usually takes about 90 secs to cook on one side
- Fold it into a quarter (as shown in the video below) and serve hot.
This is usually had with some green cilantro & mint chutney, and a coconut based fish or chicken curry. Stay tuned for those recipes.
Thai Chilli Oil Anyone??
The cold frosty spring weather in Virginia, has just inspired me to make some spicy fusion
Easy Prep -
* In a mixing bowl - mix peppers in canola oil, 2 cloves garlic & seat salt
* Grill at 450F in an oven (single layer cookie sheet) or my fav is to roast them over an open flame (BBQ style) until the skins blister (do not burn the skin).
This give a nice smoky flavor
* Blend in a food processor with canola oil. Also stir in some vinegar (not too much so that it is not too sour) This will preserve the oil. I also add some coarse previously ground thai pepper powder to the mix + some Sriracha (This is all fusion of flavors)
Proud to present - a wild fusion, Indian (Desi) style!
If you google ‘Butter Chicken Recipe’, you will probably notice a lot of recipes come up in the search. I have tasted this dish at various restaurants, and tried to recreate it with the least amount of ingredients possible, with a little fusion and tried to make it simple enough.
So, without further ado, here is the secret…..
For the recipe you will need…
- 2 lbs Boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes (use ‘tenderloins’, they cook fast and is the perfect cut of meat for this dish)
- Tomato paste (my personal favorite brand is Hunt’s) - 4 tbsp
- Philadelphia ‘original’ cooking cream - 2 tbsp « KEY INGREDIENT!
- Ginger-Garlic paste 1 tsp
- Dried Fenugreek Leaves crushed - 1/2 tsp (Indian name : Kasoori Methi)
- Olive oil
- Country crock light spread - 1 tsp
- Spices - Garam Masala, Tandoori Masala, Meat Masala Note on spices : I use the above brands (see link). You can use similar masala’s from other brands. For people in the US, these are available in most Indian/Asian grocery stores or online as well.
- 1 cup beaten yogurt
- Finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp honey
I have divided this into two parts. The first part consists of lightly ‘grilling’ the chicken in spices. The second part consists of cooking the sauce.
I would suggest you start with Part 1, while the chicken is gilling, you can make the sauce and then just add the grilled chicken pieces.
Part 1 - Chicken Tikka
In a mixing bowl, toss in chicken breast cubes, a drizzle of olive oil, salt,pepper, 1 tsp of the tandoori masala, 1/2 tsp of the meat masala, and a pinch of garam masala and the cup of beaten yogurt. Stir and mix well.
If you have the time, I would recommend to Refrigerate for at least 30 mins. If you are short of time, let it stand (refrigerated) for 10 mins and then lay the chicken on a grill tray. You will start grilling this, around the same time you start preparing the sauce. Grill at 425F for about 10 mins or until the chicken is tender and moist. Do not over grill it. If it is a little undone, it may be ok, since it will cook further in the sauce. You do not want the chicken pieces to get tough and chewy.
Since the quantity was small, I used a toaster oven to grill the chicken and it came out great.
If you want to skip Part 1, you can also just add the chicken later to the tomato sauce. I have noted both versions below. If you plan to skip the grill, ensure the chicken is seasoned with salt and pepper and kept aside, while you start making the sauce.
Part 2 - Sauce
1. In a sauce pan, heat olive oil and a melt in a little ‘light’ butter (Use country crock - see link in ingredients above).
2. Add in the ginger garlic paste and a pinch of the chopped cilantro (yes, I add in to extract some flavor into the oil)
3. Add in the spices - here you will need only 2 tsp of the MDH meat masala and a pinch of garam masala.
4. Stir well, until the ginger garlic paste mixes in well with the spices (« 5 mins)
5. Add in the tomato paste and stir in
6. Add in the cooking cream
An alternate version of this recipe calls for skipping part 1 - grilling the chicken and just adding it to the tomato paste, before you add the cooking cream. Mix the chicken well in the paste and cook for some time. If you are using this method, make sure you use the ‘tenderloins’. They tend to cook inside 10 mins.
My other alternate ’Veggie’ recepie also calls for some Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) at this point instead of the chicken.
A note on the cooking cream - there are various substitutions you can use. In fact before Kraft released this product, I was able to cook with their low fat cream cheese. The heavy creams available will get the sauce too creamy…so select your cream wisely…
Once the paste turns orange in color like the pic shown above, add in the honey and the crushed dried fenugreek leaves
At this point, your ‘grilled’ chicken tikka is ready to go in. If you want to get a little fancy, you can in fact just pour this sauce over the grilled chicken and serve it as an appetizer. But I like to mix it in . You may also need to add a little water to adjust the creamy consistency as per the picture shown, so that you have a thick ‘curry’ consistency.
You would have noticed, no salt was added. This is important, since there is enough sodium in the tomato paste and the cream, so be careful with the seasoning.
Once the chicken is coated with the cream sauce, garnish with drops of the light country crock spread and chopped cilantro.
Enjoy with some naan or hot plain bastmati rice. Do not forget the chilled white wine or a good lager (I recommend King Fisher)