Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chick Pea Dip (Hummus)

International Egg less Dips Special
Middle Eastern Cuisine
Chick Pea Dip (Hummus) with Sun-dried Tomatoes
Serves 2

Chick Pea/Garbanzo Beans (Kabuli Chana/Chole)- 480 Grams or 1 Can, Drained and Rinsed
Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)- 2 to 5 Tbsp.
Olive Oil- 2 to 5 Tbsp.
Garlic- 2 Cloves, Grated
Sun Dried Tomatoes- 150 Grams (optional)
Lemon Juice- 1½  

To Serve- a Selection of Fresh Vegetable Crudités of Choice

In a Grinder, Add the Soaked/Drained Chickpeas & Grind until Roughly Chopped
Add the Tahini & Olive Oil (about 2 Tbsp. of each) & Blend to a Fine Paste
Add the Grated Garlic, Lemon Juice & Blend to combine
Season with Salt, Pepper, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Blend the Hummus along with some of the Sun Dried Tomato Flavoured Oil until Nicely Combined
Check for Taste; adjust the Tahini and Olive Oil (as Desired)
Spoon the Hummus into a Serving Dish, Garnish with about 5-6 Sun Dried Tomatoes
Serve with Crudités!


Chickpeas- 1 Cup, Soaked & Boiled in Salted Water
Tahini- 2/3 Cup or Tbsp.
Olive Oil- 1/3 Cup or 2 Tbsp.

Lemon Juice- 2 Tsp.
Salt- to Taste
Roasted Cumin Powder- Tsp.
Paprika Powder- to Garnish
Pine Nuts- to Garnish, Toasted
Black Olive- to Garnish

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Wholistic Breads in Chennai

Wholistic Breads in Jambulingam Street, Adyar, Chennai

Vanaja Arvind’s Bakery since 2008 Wholegrain Vegan and Vegetarian options for Baked Items (Healthy range of Breads, Muffins, Crackers, Biscuits, Energy Bars etc.) 

Wholemeal Sandwich Bread

Banana Walnut Cake

Carrot Cake- Mini

Pumpkin Walnut Cake

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Odiya Style Sauteed Potatoes (Aloo Bhaja)

Indian Vegetarian Main Course Special
Bengali/Oriya Cuisine
Odiya Style Sauteed Potatoes (Aloo Bhaja)
Serves 2

Potatoes- 2 Large, Cut into very Thin Strips/Chopped         
Cumin Seeds- ½ Tsp.
Mustard Seeds- ¼ Tsp.
Dried Medium Red Chilli- 1, Broke in Half
Turmeric Powder- ½ Tsp.
Mustard Oil (Kacchi Ghani Sarson Tel)- 2 Tbsp.
Salt- To Taste
Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder- ½ Tsp.

In a Pan, Heat Oil, Add the Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds & Red Chilli 
Let the Seeds splutter & as the Chilli turns Smoking Red
Add Turmeric Powder & Sauté
Add the Potato Pieces 
Fry till the Potatoes on High Flame for about 30 Seconds
Cover & Cook on Low Flame till Tender
Add Salt & Stir for about a Minute
Serve Fresh & Hot with just Steamed Rice/Pakhal Bhat/Khichdi or can be consumed with Dal Fry!
Can Add Other Vegetables like (Parwal/Potol/Potola)
Can add Panch Phoron/Panch Photan for Tempering if using other Vegetables

Can add Red Chilli-Cumin Powder if using Panch Phoron & other Vegetables
Can add Finely Chopped Green Chillies

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Rice Pudding (Chawal ki Kheer)

Indian Egg less Sweets Special
Punjabi/Sindhi/Uttar Pradesh Cuisine
Rice Pudding (Chawal ki Kheer)
Serves 2

Jeera Samba Rice/Special Kheer Rice- ¼ Cup

Pure Ghee- 1 Tsp.
Milk- 1 Litre
Sugar- 25 Grams or To Taste
Almonds- 1 Tbsp., Blanched & Slivered 
Raisins- 1 Tbsp.
Cardamom Powder- ¼ Tsp.
Rose Water- 1 Tsp. 
Saffron- Few Strands

Clean, Wash & Soak Rice for about 30 Minutes to 1 Hour

Soak Almonds in Hot Water for about 30 Minutes so that the skin is removed easily
In a Heavy Bottomed Pot, Heat Ghee
Fry the Rice on Low Flame for about 3-4 Minutes
Add Milk and bring to a Boil

Turn the Flame down & Cook till the Rice is cooked
Always keep a check that the Milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of the Pot
The Kheer needs to have a Consistency just like that of a Thick Custard

Add Sugar, Cardamom Powder, Saffron & Stir
Add the Sliced Nuts, Raisin & Mix Well
Serve Warm or Chilled, tastes equally great!!!


Preferably Full Cream should be used for this Recipe to get the desired Kheer Consistency & Taste!
Can use Blanched, Skin Removed & Chopped Almonds instead of Slivered Pieces
In case the Almonds can’t be soaked in Water, can also Microwave the Almonds soaked in Water on full for about 2 Minutes
Can use Peeled & Chopped Pistachios
Can use Few Drops of Rose Essence if Rose Water is unavailable

Our Personal Favorite is the Spanish Version with the addition of Cinnamon Powder sprinkled on the Kheer Bowl which are then kept to Chill & Tastes Yumm!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

La Boulangerie French Bakery @ Chennai

La Boulangerie French Bakery in Chennai

Since 2007

Items are available at various locations Ampa Mall, Besant Nagar, Harrisons Hotel, Kottupuram, Neelangarai, Nungambakkam, Sholinganallur, newest one opened at Velachery Main Road (closed that soon as well!)

Whole Wheat Bread 

For more information visit here:

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Potatoes & Sun-Dried Lentil Fritters in Tomato based Gravy (Aloo Wadi ki Tariwali Sabzi) (Jain/No Onion Garlic)

North Indian Vegetarian Main Course Special
Jain/Uttar Pradesh Cuisine
Potatoes & Sun-Dried Lentil Fritters in Tomato based Gravy (Aloo Wadi ki Tariwali Sabzi)
(No Onion Garlic)
Serves 3-4

Potatoes- 4 Medium, Peeled and Cut in Cubes
Wadi (Urad or Moong Dal ki Mangodi)- ½ Cup, Fried in Oil & Crushed
Tomato-2 Medium, Roughly Chopped
Green Chili- 1, Finely Chopped

Extra Light Olive Oil/Oil Pomace Oil- 1 Tsp.
Cumin Seeds- ½ Tsp.
Coriander Powder- 1- ½ Tsp.
Turmeric (Haldi)- ½ Tsp.
Dry Ginger Powder (Sonth)- a Pinch
Salt- To Taste

Garam Masala- ½ Tsp.
Fresh Coriander Leaves- ½ Cup, Finely Chopped

Make a fine Paste with Ginger-Green Chilies-Tomatoes & Keep Aside
In a Pressure Pan, Heat Oil, Add Cumin Seeds & let the Seeds Splutter
Add Ginger-Green Chilies-Tomatoes Paste & Sauté for about 2 Minutes or till Oil Surfaces (can sprinkle Water if needed)
Add all the Dry Masalas (Coriander Powder, Haldi, Ginger Powder) & Stir for about a Minute or so
Add the Potatoes in this Gravy & Combine Well
Add Water, Cover & Pressure Cook till Potatoes are done
Sprinkle Garam Masala when done
Garnish with Coriander Leaves & Serve Hot in a Thali with Phulka, Kaddu ki Sabzi & Boondi ka Raita!

Again another addition from my Husband’s Hostel days & the UP connection we both share!

Something that can be made in a jiffy for Tiffin/Lunch Box without requiring a lot of vegetables

Can be served with Kachori, also can be made without the Wadi for Kachori

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Moroccan Vegetarian Tajine

International Vegetarian Main Course Special
Moroccan Cuisine
Vegetarian Tajine
Serves 2

CousCous- 3 to 4 Tbsp.
Cinnamon- 2 Sticks
Onions- 2
Carrots- 2
Sweet Potatoes- 2
Fresh Coriander Leaves-
Paprika- 1 Tsp.
Cooked Chick Peas- 1 Cup
Tomatoes- 2, Finely Sliced
Fennel Bulb- 1
Parsnips- 2
Coriander Seeds- 2 Tbsp.
Cumin Seeds- 1 Tsp.
Ginger Powder- 1 Tsp.
Saffron- 3 Strings
Dried Apricots- 3
Red Chilli Powder- ½ Tsp.
Turmeric Powder- ½ Tsp.
New Potatoes- 6 to 7
Parsley- few Leaves
Mint Leaves- 3 to 4
Vegetable Stock- Few Tbsp.
Pickled Lemon- ½
Olive Oil- 2 to 3 Tbsp.

Cut all Vegetables into Round Circles
Dry roast some Cinnamon, Cumin & Coriander Seeds
Slice some Parsnips & Carrots into Circles

For Tagine Spice Mix:
Mix Ginger Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, Roasted Cinnamon-Cumin-Coriander Seeds into a Fine Powder
In a Tagine Pot, Heat Olive Oil, Add Onions & Sauté
Add all the Cut Vegetables in the Pot till Cooked
Add Salt & the Dry Spice Mix
Add Stock & let it Simmer
Add Tomatoes, Pickled Lemons, Chick Peas, Coriander Leaves, Parsley & Mix Well
Add Saffron on top of the Layer
For Couscous:
In a Bowl, Add Couscous, Stock, Salt, EVOO & Keep Aside for about 10 minutes
Once Soft & Fluffy, Add Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, Mint Leaves, Coriander Leaves & mix using a Fork
Serve Hot with Tagine!


Preparing a new Tajine Pot:

To prepare a new Tajine before cooking; soak both the Pot & the Lid overnight in water (so that they are completely immersed in water)
Then fill the Pot with water, add same salt and a few Bay leaves and a few Cardamom pods
Heat over a Low gas Flame, until boiling to infuse the herbs into the porous terracotta

(If the Tajine is used regularly this won't need to be redone
Tajines can be used on the Barbecue, Charcoal or Low gas Flame but are not recommended for electric cook tops or in the oven)

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stir Fried Green Beans with Fresh Coconut & Simple Spices (Khatta Meetha Phali)

Indian Vegetarian Main Course Special
Gujarati Cuisine
Stir Fried Green Beans with Fresh Coconut & Simple Spices (Khatta Meetha Phali)
Serves 2

For Spice Paste:
Medium Dried Red Chillies- 4 No’s
Cumin Seeds-
Coriander Seeds-
Grated Fresh Coconut-
Rock Salt-

Green Beans- Blanched & Sliced
White Sesame (Til)-
Coriander Powder-
Curry Leaves-
Tamarind Pulp-

For Spice Paste:

In a Pan, Dry Roast the Red Chillies, Cumin Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Grated Fresh Coconut till Coconut is Golden Brown  
Add this Roasted Spice mixture & Rock Salt in a Mortar Pestle
Add Water; Make a Fine Paste & Keep Aside

Blanch the Green Beans, Cut in Even Slices & Keep Aside
In a Pan, Heat Oil on High Flame for Stir Frying, Add the Blanched Green Beans, Rock Salt, Stir Fry till Crispy & Keep Aside

Heat Oil in a Pan, Add Rai, Til, Ground Masala, Dry Masalas (Haldi, Hing, Coriander Powder) & Sauté
Add Curry Leaves & Sauté till Crisp
Sprinkle Water & use the Bhunna Technique to Fry the Masalas
As Oil starts to Rise on top, Add the Tamarind Pulp for Sourness & Jaggery for Sweetness
Check to see if the Spices are cooked, Add Beans
Toss all together & Sprinkle some Water if needed
Cover & let the Beans steam in the Residual Gravy
Serve Hot with Phulka/ Rice, Gujarati Daal & Curd for a complete Gujarati Daal!

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Gujarati Daal

Indian Vegetarian Main Course Special
Gujarati Cuisine
Gujarati Daal
Serves 2

Toor Dal- 1 Cup Soaked & Boiled with Salt
Ginger- Crushed/Chopped
Green Chillies- Slit
Fresh Coriander Leaves-
Potato- Boiled & Chopped

For Tempering:
Bay leaf-
Cumin Seeds-
Fenugreek Seeds-
Mini Dried Red Chillies-
Kasuri Methi-
Curry Leaves-
Ripe Tomato- 1, Finely Chopped
Turmeric Powder (Haldi)-
Coriander Powder-
Lime Juice-
Fresh Coriander Leaves- Finely Chopped

Add Dal in a Pan (Kadhai), Add Water
Add Ginger, Green Chillies, Jaggery, Kokum, Fresh Coriander Leaves, Peanuts, Potatoes, Salt, Stir, cover & let it Simmer
For Tempering:
Add Ghee, Bay leaf, Cumin Seeds, Rai, Cassia, Cloves, Fenugreek Seeds, Mini Dried Red Chillies, Kasuri Methi, Curry Leaves, Stir Gently
Add Ripe Tomato, Add Sugar to Caramelize & Balance Flavour, Salt, Haldi, Coriander Powder
Cover & Cook till Tomatoes are done
Deglaze the Tadka Pan with the Dal Mixture & Add it back to the Dal
Add Lime Juice, Coriander Leaves & Serve Hot with Phulka, Rice & any Gujarati Dry Vegetable Preparation!

The Technique of keeping the Greens Crisp, Cooking Pulses, Stir Frying, Tempering & Amalgamation of Flavours

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Mixed Mango Puree & Buttermilk Preparation (Aamras ki Kadhi)

Indian Vegetarian Main Course Special
Gujarati Cuisine
Mixed Mango Puree & Buttermilk Preparation (Aamras ki Kadhi)
Serves 2

Ripe Mango (Aamras) Puree- 1 Cup
Raw Mango (Keri) Puree- 1 Cup
Thin Buttermilk (Chaas)- 1 Cup
Bengal Gram/Chickpea Flour (Besan)- 2 Tbsp.
Salt- To Taste
Asafoetida (Hing)- a Pinch

For Tempering:
Extra Light Olive Oil/Olive Pomace Oil- 1- ½ Tsp.
Fenugreek Seeds (Methi)- ¼ Tsp.
Mustard Seeds (Rai/Sarson)- ½ Tsp.
Curry Leaves (Kadi Patta)- 5-6 No’s
Green Chillies- 2, Slit
Deep Fried Gram Flour Pearls (Boondi)- 2 to 3 Tbsp.
Ginger- Juliennes
Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder-
Fresh Coriander Leaves- Finely Chopped
Sea Salt-

In a Bowl, Mix Aamras, Keri Puree, Chaas,
In another Bowl, Add Besan & Buttermilk
Combine them well so they bind properly
Using a Sieve, add the Besan into Aamras to avoid Lumps
Add Haldi, Salt, Hing & Combine all
In a Non Stick Pan (Kadhai), Heat Oil
Add Methi, Rai, Curry Leaves & Sauté
Add Green Chillies & Sauté
Add the Aamras Mixture & Keep Stirring
If it thickens, Add Buttermilk to thin it down
Add Boondi & Keep Aside

For Tempering:
Heat Oil, Add Ginger, Kashmiri Chilli, Coriander Leaves, Curry Leaves, Boondi & Sea Salt
Add on top of the Prepared Aamras
Serve Hot with Steamed/Jeera Rice!

Using the Techniques of Boiling-Deep Frying, Spices & Aromatics & Basics of Indian Vegetarian Cooking & Vegetables
This Kadhi is Sweet & Sour recipe best enjoyed with Boiled Rice
Ruu- Bind the Starch with liquid

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sultanpur Style Sooji ka Halwa

Indian Egg less Sweets Special
Himachali Cuisine
Sultanpur Style Sooji ka Halwa
Serves 5-6

Clarified Butter (Ghee)- 3 Cups
Semolina (Sooji)- 1 Kilogram
Sugar- 1 Kilogram
Dry Coconut- 1 Cup
Cashew & Almonds- 1 Cup each

Raisins- 1 Cup
Water- 4 Litres

In a Wide Mouthed Wok (Metal Kadhai preferably), Heat Ghee
Add Sooji in the Ghee Stir Continuously till it is Light Brown (Process of Bhuna)
This process is important so Stir constantly till the Rich, Nutty Flavours are released
Add Sugar & Keep Stirring
Add Dry Coconut & Stir
Add Cashew & Almonds & Stir
Add Raisins & Stir till the Raisins Swell up
Add Water & let the Starch in the Semolina Gluttonize (means the filling up of water molecules so that the Sooji swells)
Keep Stiring while the Sooji & Water Boils
Check to see if ready (the Halwa should be thick)

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Parfait 3 @ Chennai

Parfait 3 @ Velachery Chennai

We tasted one of the best Plum Cake this year around in Christmas here

Valentine Day’s Cake:
My B'Day Cake- German Black Forest

Blueberry Mousse

Chocolate filled Bun, Cinnamon Raisins filled Bun (Cinnabon), Croissants,

Feel free to share your views & do let us know of any Quality Bakeries/Cafe/Restaurants in your area :)