Ever since I was a kid, I loved watching my mom in the kitchen preparing delicious and fulfilling meals with ease. My mom is a magician in the kitchen...(Read More)

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    Female/26-30. Lives in Canada/Ontario/Toronto, speaks English. My interests are cooking, art, design,/writing, reading, .
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  • Thursday, October 27, 2005

    Diwali - The festival of Lights!!

    Diwali is one of the main festivals of the Hindus. It represents the start of the Hindu New Year. The legend goes that on this day Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya with his wife, Sita and brother, Lakshman; after defeating the cruel king Ravan of Lanka, who had kidnapped Sita. Diwali is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. Diwali is also known as the festival of lights. On this day, homes are decorated with lights and candles welcoming the New Year. Sweets are distributed by everyone, and friends and family come together. Diwali celebrations in India are much similar to Christmas celebrations over here. Diwali celebrations and preparations begin with a bang many days earlier. Traditional sweets and savouries are prepared at home and everyone is in a festive mood. This year Diwali falls on the 1st of November which is a Tuesday. Me and my hubby decided to take Monday and Tuesday off from work and celebrate our first Diwali together as husband and wife with all enthusiasm. This year I plan on making some of the traditional Diwali specialties, and of course, I will share it with all of you. So join me in this celebration of lights, fun and family!

    Spicy Curry Fried Rice

    I consider curries to be comfort food. There's something about the curry flavour that just calms my senses and relaxes my nerves. It begins this whole new healing process. I made this dish for dinner last night when I was tired after work and wanted something soothing and comforting which wouldn't take me a whole lot of time to cook. I call this curry fried rice, since it has that familiar wonderful curry flavour binded together with spices and veggies. Spicy Curry Fried Rice

    Ingredients: 2 cups cooked rice (allow them to cool in the fridge for sometime since it is much easier to fry cold unclumpy rice) 1 cup chopped veggies of choice 1 medium onions chopped 2 eggs 1 tsp curry powder 1/2 tsp red chili powder 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper 2 tbsp light soya sauce 1 cube chicken bullion salt, to taste 1 tbsp cooking oil 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil 2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander leaves Method: Beat eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Scramble eggs in a pan and set aside. Add sesame oil to the remaining oil in the pan and fry oinions till transparent. Add vegetables and cook for a minute or two. Add salt, pepper, curry powder, chili powder and bullion cube and cook till spices are nicely integrated. Add scramble eggs and rice and stir till rice is nicely mixed in with eggs and veggies. Add soya sauce and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and freshly ground pepper for added heat.

    Monday, October 24, 2005

    Easy breezy Chicken Curry for the soul...

    The past couple of weekends have been highly hectic - we were either entertaining or being entertained! And of course, parties mostly mean delicious and sinful food. After weeks of having rich and elaborate menus on our table, the time called for something simple and pleasing. It was a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon, just perfect to cuddle up with my sweetie and have chicken curry with potatoes and garam-garam rotis!

    Boneless Chicken Curry with Potatoes

    Ingredients: 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes 5-6 baby potatoes, peeled 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup chopped tomatoes 1-2 chopped green chilies 1 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp red chili powder 1/2 tsp cumin powder 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp coriander powder 1/2 tsp garam masala 1 tbsp chopped ginger 1 tsp chopped garlic salt, to taste 2 tbsp cooking oil chopped coriander leaves for garnish Method: Heat oil in a deep pan and add cumin seeds. Wait till they start to sizzle, then add chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies. Fry till they become fragrant and add onions. Cook thill onions soften and become lightly browned. Add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes till they pulp. Add in salt, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Fry for a minute till the spices blend in. Add chicken pieces, potatoes and one cup of water, and cover cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes till chicken and potatoes are cooked through. Add more water if desired. Sprinkle with garam masala and fresh chopped coriander leaves. Serve with warm rotis and enjoy!

    Friday, October 14, 2005

    Cold days and hot soups...

    Winter's just on its way and I'm starting to get strong cravings for hot soup and stew-like dishes. When I think of soups in Indian cuisine, there're not many options available. The closest resmblance I can make to a thick soup would be in the form of Indian lentils, called Dal. This recipe is one of our family favourites. My mom would always make this during winter and serve it warm with rice when we got back from school. I like to add a little more water than usual to get a nice soupy texture.

    Dal Palak (Spinach and Lentil Soup)

    Ingredients: ½ cup Yellow Split Gram Lentils 2 cups chopped Spinach leaves ½ cup chopped Tomatoes 2 tbsp sliced onions 1 tsp chopped Green Chilies 1 tsp chopped Ginger ½ tsp red chili powder ¼ tsp turmeric powder 2 tbsp Cooking Oil Salt, to taste 3 cups water 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves Method: Heat oil in a pot and add cumin seeds, green chilies and ginger. Sauté for a minute and add onions. Fry onions till start to brown a bit and then add tomatoes, turmeric powder and chili powder. Cook for 2-3 minutes till tomatoes become tender, and then add lentils, spinach and water. Let boil for 20-25 minutes on medium-low heat till lentils are tender. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    Flavourful Fenugreek

    Fenugreek is one of the world's oldest medicinal herbs. It can be found in the form of fresh leaves, seeds and even as a dried herb called Kasoori Methi in Indian gorcery stores. It has a strong curry aroma and a tangy flavour. Fenugreek has a slightly bitter taste with the tendency to take over a dish, and hence should be used in appropriate proportions. I tried this dish on a whim on day when I was in the mood to create something out of my ordinary regular menu. What started out as an experiment with different flavours, turned out to be an aromatic favourite!
    Methi Keema (Ground Meat with Fenugreek Leaves)
    Ingredients: 1 lb ground meat (lamb would taste the best, but I tried it with ground chicken and it was great too!) 2 cups chopped fenugreek leaves 1/2 cup finely chopped onions 1 cup chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp chopped ginger 1 tbsp chopped garlic 1/2 tsp red chili powder 1 tsp coriander powder 1 tsp garam masala salt, to taste 2 tbsp cooking oil Method: Heat oil in a pan and fry onions, ginger and garlic till lightly browned. Add red chili powder, coriander and garam masala and fry for a minute. Add ground meat and fry it starts to brown and dry up. Add tomatoes and fenugreek leaves, and cover cook for 10-15 minutes. Add water if a thinner consistency is desired.

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    A pot full of Rice...

    It's getting cold outside and I have this sudden craving to eat warm flavourful rice. That's when I thought of Nasi Lemak, or Malaysian Coconut Rice. This dish is so simple and yet, bursting with flavour! Nasi Lemak (Malaysian Coconut Rice)


    2 cups of rice 3 1/2 cups of coconut milk 1 stalk of lemon grass 1 inch piece of fresh ginger Salt, to taste
    Bring coconut milk to a slight boil in a non-stick pan.
    Add rice, salt and lemon grass and cover cook for about 10 minutes on a medium flame till liquid dries up and rice is cooked through.
    Enjoy with my yummy Chicken Curry!

    A Potato Salad with a twist...

    I'm not really a salad person. So there are very few salad that appeal to me. I'm don't like salads that are all leaves, but prefer something with more textures and tastes. Just because its a salad doesn't mean it has to be reall dull boring now, does it? I hate mayo and the creamy potato salads just make me sick. Here's a very simple Potato Salad recipe that is simply delicious. You can change the flavours by adding anything you like to it. Its just so versatile. That's exactly why I love it! Spicy Potato Salad

    Ingredients: 3-4 medium sized potatoes, boiled (I like using both, the white and red potatoes. Its combination is taste is just wonderful.) 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste ½ cup chopped coriander leaves 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp chaat masala Method: Peel and slice potatoes into a salad bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature. Spicy Notes: Chaat masala is a blend of multiple seasonings, including cumin, coriander, black salt, ginger, and the tart and tangy dried mango powder (amchoor). It is easily available at any Indian grocery store.

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    A Bittersweet Addiction...SHF #13

    Okay, so I confess! I'm addicted to chocolate. Well, maybe not...I mean, its not like I HAVE to have chocolate every day! There are times when I can go days without even craving for this taste of heaven. I have a whole section in my pantry dedicated to these 'lil beauties and I can honestly say that they have been lying there safe for a long time now without me taking a grab at them every other minute! But then, once I get a craving, there's no stopping me! It doesn't take much to tempt me to have a bite. Just the thought of it is more than sufficient. I love the way it just melts as soon as I lay it on my tongue. Chocolate is the best comfort food I can think of. Just one bite of its extraordinarily smooth taste and I'm instantly transported to that happy place. And with the holiday season just around the corner, I can never get enough of this heavenly sin! You can't imagine my excitement when I decided to start participating in SHF, and found this month's topic, The Dark Side!! I created this recipe on on of those chocolate-craving moments. It's to DIE for... Chocolate Nut Tartlets

    Ingredients: 1 cup cream 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 tsp instant coffee powder 2 tbsp sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract Assortment of chopped nuts 12 mini tart shells ( I use the frozen ones and prepare them according to the packaged instructions) Method: Heat cream till it is warm enough to melt the chocolate chips. Do not let it come to a boil. Add chocolate chips, sugar, coffee powder and vanilla extract, and stir till the chocolate starts to melt. Remove the mixture from heat and keep stirring till chocolate melts nicely and forms a thick paste. Set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes. Fill each tart shell with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with choice of nuts.

    Serve warm or chilled!

    Mad over Mangoes

    Hmmmnnn... Mangoes! One of my best memories of mangoes is being in India during the months of May, June and July when the country is bountiful of this succulent fruit. There are so many varieties to choose from, in so many colours, shapes, sizes, tastes and of course, smell! Now that the mango season is coming to an end, I wanted to do kind of a grand finale to celebrate my favourite fruit. While browsing for recipes, I came accross many for mango salsa. I decided to combine the flavours I liked and omit those I didn't, and came up with this easy 2-minute lip-smacking creation! Spicy Mango Salsa

    Ingredients: 2-3 mangoes (you want them to be ripe so that they are sweet) 2 tbsp chopped onions 1 jalapeno finely chopped (make sure you throw away the seeds or else it would be too spicy!) 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves salt and pepper, to taste 1/2 tbsp lemon juice Method: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and the salsa is done!

    Serve chilled with crispy corn chips and enjoy!

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    For my love of Eggplants!

    Did I mention I love eggplants? Haha! Yes, I sure did!! Here's a recipe that's a delight to entertain with. It always leaves my guests licking their fingers! Bagare Baingan (Stuffed Eggplant)

    Ingredients: 8-10 pieces of tiny eggplants 1 tbsp red chili powder 2 tbsp coriander powder 1 tbsp garam masala 1 tbsp jeera powder Salt, to taste 2 tbsp lemon juice Method: Mix all the ingredients of the stuffing in a bowl and set aside. Wash the eggplants and slit half-way through the middle without cutting them into halves. Spread the filling into the slits of the eggplants. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add the stuffed eggplants. Cover cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat, turning them every few minutes to get them brown on all sides.


    Sometimes I like to come home and sit down to a nice fulfilling dinner. But most of the time I'm just too tired to drag myself into the kitchen to whip up something lavish. This made me experiment with traditional and not-so-traditional recipes, and I finally came up with my easy and yet delicious variations to these all time classics! Here's one for a quite evening when you just want to sit down infront of the TV and enjoy a meal fit for a king! Dahi-wali Chicken Curry (Chicken in a Yoghurt Gravy)

    Ingredients: 1 kg chicken cut into medium-sized pieces ½ cup plain yoghurt 1 cup chopped onions 2 cups chopped tomatoes 2-3 sliced green chilies 1 tbsp chopped ginger 1 tbsp chopped garlic 1 tsp cumin seeds Salt, to taste ½ tsp red chili powder ¼ tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp coriander powder ½ tsp garam masala 1 ½ tbsp fresh chopped coriander leaves 2 tbsp cooking oil Method: Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds starts to sizzle, add ginger, garlic and green chilies and fry for a few seconds till fragrant. Add onions and cook till they turn slightly brown. Add chili powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder, and fry for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook till tomatoes start to soften and form the gravy base. Add yoghurt and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken and salt and cover cook for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat till chicken is tender. Add chopped coriander leaves and sprinkle garam masala as garnish.

    Cooking with Cumin

    Yes, cumin! Cumin seeds are the start of most Indian dishes. This is one ingredient I make sure I never fall short of in my pantry. Adding cumin seeds in the beginning of the cooking process gives the dish a nice aromatic flavour. Cumin is considered to have digestive properties and is also considered to have cooling properties. One of the best ways I can think of using cumin seeds is in the tempering of Dal. Dal is a staple dish in the Indian diet made of lentils. There are many different kinds of lentils as well as many different ways it is cooked in the Indian household. But none the less, Dal is eaten almost everyday. This is one of my most simplest Dal recipes and also one of my favourites! Dal (Indian Lentils)

    Ingredients: 1 cup red split lentils (called lal masoor in Hindi) 2 cups water 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions 1-2 chopped green chilies 1/2 tsp red chili powder 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp cumin seeds salt, to taste 2 tbsp cooking oil chopped coriander leaves for garnish Method: Bring the lentils to a boil in 2 cups of water. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium heat till the lentils become soft and slightly mushy. Add more water if needed. Add the green chilies, tomatoes, salt, turmeric and chili powder and cover cook for another 5-10 minutes till tomatoes soften. In a frying pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds. When they start to sizzle, add onions and fry till they turn golden brown. Pour the fried onions and cumin seeds of the lentils. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot. Dal is best eaten with warm Rotis and a side of mango pickle!

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    You wonderful tasting treat!

    Paneer (cottage cheese) has always been my favourite option in the Indian vegetarian category. Trust me when I say I can eat it every day, even twice a day! There are so many ways of cooking Paneer in Indian cuisine and my aim to is learn most of them. This a very popular dish in the Northern part of India and total pleaser! I've mastered the awesome taste with a very easy method.
    Paneer Matar Makhani (Cottage Cheese in a Yoghurt Sauce)

    Ingredients: 2 cups Paneer(cottagecheese) diced into cubes and fried till lightly browned 1 cup fresh onion paste 2 cups finely chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp tomato paste 2 tbsp plain yoghurt 1 cup peas 1 tsp cumin seeds Salt, to taste ¼ tsp turmeric powder ½ tsp red chili powder ½ tsp coriander powder ½ tsp garam masala 2 tbsp cooking oil Chopped coriander leaves for garnish Method: Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Add onion paste and fry till paste starts to dry. Add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes and cook till tomatoes pulp nicely. Add salt, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and 1 tsp of tomato paste. Allow to come to a boil. Add water to get desired gravy consistency. Add yoghurt and let the gravy come to a boil. Add fried paneer pieces and peas and cover cook for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a sprinkle of garam masala.

    Saturday, October 01, 2005

    This chicken made its way to the other side...

    Anyone that knows anything about Indian food, knows Tandoori Chicken! This dish, by far has to be one of the most popular and loved Indian dishes all over the world. Tradionally, Tandoori Chicken is cooked in the "tandoor", which is a clay oven. But coming back to reality in our not-so-equipped modest kitchens and lack of time, I've learn to come up with my own variations of some of my time-consuming-back-breaking favourites. And Tandoori Chicken will be no exception! Tandoori Chicken

    Ingredients: 8 pieces of chicken legs or thighs 1 cup yoghurt 1 tbsp cooking oil 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp red chili powder 1 coriander powder 1 tsp garam masala Salt, to taste 1 tbsp lemon juice ½ tsp jeera powder Method: Mix all the ingredients of the marinade in a big bowl and set aside. Make two rough slits on each piece of the chicken to allow marinade to penetrate the meat. Pour marinade onto the chicken to coat and cover each piece properly.Set in the fridge for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 and roast chicken for 20-25 minutes turning them at least once. Spicy Notes: This dish can be served as a delicious side, accompanied by great wine or tangy cocktails. It can also be turned into a hearty meal by serving it with some Dal Makhni and fresh Naan.

    Whatever way you serve it, it is a delight to taste buds!

    Another from my Chutney files...

    Tamarind Chutney

    Ingredients: 1 cup tamarind paste 2 cups water ½ tsp red chili powder ¼ tsp of dried ginger powder ¾ cup jaggery (brown sugar can be used as a substitute) Salt, to taste Method: Add tamarind paste, water and jaggery in a deep pan and bring to a boil. Add salt, ginger powder and chili powder and continue to boil over medium heat till the consistency becomes thick as that of a sauce. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

    Oh how I love to take a dip in you!

    Chutneys are a big part in Indian cuisine. There are so many varieties ranging from those made from fruits, vegetables and so much more. Chutneys differ in texture, taste and of course the preparation method all over India. You get hot, sour, spicy, sweet and also a mix of these flavours. But however you make them, they are a delight in every bite!
    Mint-Coriander Chutney

    Ingredients: 2 cups fresh chopped coriander leaves 1 cup chopped mint leaves 2-3 green chilies Salt, to taste ½ tsp red chili powder 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp chopped ginger Method: Add all the ingredients in a mixer with a little water and grind to a fine paste. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

    Of rainy days and chilly nights...

    I love it when it rains! Not when I'm outside dressed in my best pants and white striped shirt, of course!, but when I'm nice and cozy at home in my jammies. The monsoons bring with it a craving of certain kinds of foods, something crispy and deep-fried, something warm and soothing, and something tangy and spicy!Monsoons in India are celebrated. There are many festivals that take place with the onset of the rains. And with the rains, there always comes comfort food! Some of my best memories of the Indian monsoon take place while I gorge on bountiful samosas and crispy pakodas accompanied with piping hot coffee. This is the main time of the year when you get to see all those little vendors on the street selling spicy, yummy knick-knacks fresh before your eyes! I especially look forward to these evenings when I call curl up on the couch, put on a good movie and enjoy my rainy-day delicacies!
    Tangy Paneer Pakodas (Cottage Cheese Fritters)

    Ingredients: 500 grams of Paneer 1/2 cup Mint-Coriander Chutney 1 cup gram flour salt, to taste 1 tsp Chaat masala Water, as needed Oil for deep frying Method: Add the gram flour, salt and chaat masala into a large bowl, and add water to make a fine batter. Cut paneer into cubes. Put some mint-coriander chutney on one side of a piece of panner, and top with another piece to form a sandwich. Continue to make paneer sandwiches with the remaining pieces. Dip each paneer sandwich into the batter and deep-fry till they turn brown and crispy. Sprinkle with Chaat Masala and serve hot with tamarind chutney or ketchup. Spicy Notes: Chaat Masala is tangy spice that is usually sprinkled on top of savoury dishes as well as fruits to give it a burst of flavour. It can be easily found in speciality Indian stores. You may omit it from this recipe if unavailable.

  • Hummus
  • Mint-Coriander Chutney
  • Spicy Mango Salsa
  • Tamarind Chutney
  • Tomato and Onion Chutney
  • Cucumber Raita
  • Hot and Sour Tomato-Chicken soup
  • Malaysian Spicy Noodle Soup
  • Palak Dal
  • Roasted Cumin Raita
  • Spicy Lemon Chicken Soup
  • Spicy Potato Salad
  • Pizza Rolls
  • Shakkarpare and Namakpare
  • Tangy Paneer Pakodas
  • Vada Pav
  • Sabudana Khichdi
  • Sooji Chilas
  • Strawberry Pancakes
  • Boneless Chicken Curry with Potatoes
  • Chicken and Bean Stir-Fry
  • Dahi-wali Chicken Curry
  • Coconut Fish Curry
  • Crispy Chicken Strips
  • Easy Chicken Chili
  • Kadhai Chicken
  • Keema Matar
  • Malay-style Hot and Sour Fish Curry (Asam Pedas)
  • Methi Keema
  • Mutton Masala
  • Pepper Chicken
  • Tandoori Chicken
  • Egg Curry
  • Indian Scrambled Eggs
  • Onion and Egg Patties
  • Alu Bhaji
  • Alu Tamatarwale (Potatoes with Tomato)
  • Bagare Baingan (Stuffed Eggplants)
  • Cabbage with Peas
  • Chilly Paneer
  • Chole (Chickpea Curry)
  • Dal Fry
  • Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian
  • Hariyali Baingan (Eggplant)
  • Karela Masala (Tangy Bitter-gourd)
  • Masoor ki Dal
  • Matar Paneer (Cottage Cheese with Peas)
  • Paneer Matar Makhani
  • Paneer Shimla Mirch (Cottage Cheese with Green Peppers)
  • Spicy Tofu
  • Tadka Dal
  • Tinda Fry (Fried Round Gourd)
  • Malaysian Coconut Rice (Nasi Lemak)
  • Malaysian Stir-fried Noodles (Mee Goreng)
  • Matar Pulao (Peas Pilaf)
  • Meatball Biryani
  • Penne Arabiatta
  • Spicy Curry Fried Rice
  • Tomato Rice
  • Vegetable Fried Rice
  • Alu Parathas
  • Easy Foccacia Bread
  • Paneer Parathas
  • Plain Parathas
  • Chocolate Nut Tartlets
  • Chocolate-Strawberry Grilled Croissants
  • Sooji Halwa
  • Hot Mochalate
  • Masala Chai
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate