Saturday, September 29, 2007


Everyone's favorite -- TIRAMISU! :) This is Giada's recipe and it rocks!

*6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
2 teaspoons dark rum
24 packaged ladyfingers
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish


In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of espresso and mix until thoroughly combined.
In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and rum. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfinger on the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch baking dish, breaking them in half if necessary in order to fit the bottom.

Spread evenly 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.

Cover tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours.

Before serving, sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

Cabbage potato vegetable ( patta gobi aloo sabzi )

I love this recipe! It can be made in 15 minutes and its delicious and healthy! :) I love the combination of this veggie with gujarati daal and rotis! YUM!

1/2 cabbage finely shredded (I shred it in the food processor, its extremely quick!)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida
4-5 curry leaves
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon ginger minced
1-2 green chillies minced
1 medium sized potato
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
pinch of chilli powder
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
salt to taste
1 small tomato chopped into tiny pieces
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
finely chopped fresh cilantro to garnish


Peel the potato, dice it into small pieces, and microwave it in a dish for about 2 minutes. Saves the cooking time for the potatoes to soften!

In a large saucepan at medium heat, put the oil and let it heat for a couple minutes. Put in the asafoetida and the mustard seeds, and wait for it to splatter. Once is starts splattering, put in the curry leaves, and the garlic, ginger, chilli paste. Saute for a couple minutes, and then put in the potatoes, and wait for them to brown up on all sides. Then add the shredded cabbage, and saute it again for about 3 minutes till its well coated with the oil and the fresh spices. Put in the masalas and the tomato and saute it again for about 4 minutes. Dont overcook it!

Garnish it with the cilantro and its ready to eat!:)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Date Tamarind Chutney

This sweet chutney is soo versatile! It is used in chaats, indian appetizers or even with regular food! I usually make it in bulk and store it in the deep freezer. It keeps very well, and tastes just fine every time I want to use it. This recipe below is the way my mom used to make it, and its simply fabulous! I follow her recipe, and here it is!

3 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup tamarind OR 1/4 cup tamarind paste
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup jaggery
1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
5-6 cups of water

In a large saucepan, put all the ingredients and let it boil for about 15 minutes. Let it cool once the water has reduced to about 2/3rds. Put this mixture in a blender and blend it for a couple minutes. Put this mixture through a strainer into a container. Strain it out completely to get a smooth consistency in the container. It should not be runny. It should be smooth in flow. Store it in small containers and freeze it for future use!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Batata wadas

Last Sunday, I had this urge to eat pav wadas, an indian fast food dish, readily available at any street or any corner of Bombay! I was making batata wadas for the first time, and was extremely enthusiastic about it! They turned out really tasty(thats's me praising my own food! ;) ) and Raj, who had never eaten a pav wada, loved it too! Here goes the recipe!


3 medium boiled and peeled potatoes
2 green chillies finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon ginger finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
6-7 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida(hing)
salt to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 - 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the batter:
3-4 tablespoon of gram flour(besan)
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
1/5 cup of water

vegetable or canola oil for frying


First step, mash the potatoes, not completely though.

In a deep pan, on medium heat, put the oil. Once hot, put in the asafoetida, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and let it splatter. Then put in the ginger, garlic, green chillies, and saute for a couple of minutes. Put in the mashed potatoes, and the spices, namely turmeric and salt, lemon juice and cilantro. Mix it until well blended. The paste is ready.

Now for the batter, in a small bowl, take the gram flour, with the spices and mix it until blended. Now put in water a tablespoon at a time, and put just enough to make a thick pastey like batter. It should NOT be runny. It should be smooth and thick enough to be able to coat the potato mixture.

Now, make small balls of the potato mixture. They should be about the size of small limes.

Heat the oil for frying in a saucepan at medium heat. Put a drop of the batter, if it comes up immediately, the oil is ready to fry. Now coat each potato mixture ball in the batter, and put it immediately into the oil. Put about 4 at a time for frying. Fry them until golden brown about 1-2 minutes each side.

The batata wadas are ready!! :) To make the pav wadas, cut the bread roll in half, put a little garlic chutney, tamarind chutney and the batata wada, and ENJOY! :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Ok! These are the most delicious cookies that I have ever made! Especially when they come out straight from the oven, oh my god! They simply melt in my mouth! AND Raj's mouth! LOL! Yea, he IS THE Cookie Monster! These cookies simply DON'T last in my kitchen! Here is the recipe.. you can modify it if you dont like hazelnuts, and just use chocolate chips. Another variation is, add chocolate chunks! It makes it even more chocolicious!! ;)

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces English toffee candy (recommended: Heath or Skor bar), finely chopped
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, and chopped
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips OR same quantity of chocolate chunks


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper. Finely chop the oats in a food processor. Transfer the oats to a medium bowl. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the toffee, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.

For each cookie, drop 1 rounded tablespoonful of dough onto sheet, spacing 1-inch apart (do not flatten dough). Bake until the cookies are golden (cookies will flatten slightly), about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. (The cookies can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Red wine vinaigrette

For orzo salad, or any other kinda salad! Its yum! Make sure you use good quality honey as well as extra virgin olive oil. I used to use store bought honey, and then I switched to this clove honey, that I bought from the Oakville Grocery store in Palo Alto, and I simply love that honey! It is it's money's worth! Make the vinaigrette so flavorful!

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Yield: 1 3/4 cups

Orzo Salad

This is one of my favorite summer salads! Raj loves it too. I always make the entire quantity mentioned below, and we take it for lunch. Since its a cold salad, it doesnt require reheating as well. Also, it has carbs, proteins and veggies, all in one! ;)

4 cups chicken OR vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
About 3/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Pour the broth into a heavy large saucepan. Cover the pan and bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.

Berry healthy smoothie

I have been gyming more regularly now a days, and me being a vegetarian, I do not get a substantial amount of protein intake, hence I started having this smoothie that I make in minutes! We had gone to the farmer's market on Sunday and we got these really sweet strawberries and raspberries. I love raspberries in any form, icecream, chocolates or even cakes! One can even make this with blueberries or blackberries! Ok now for the recipe...It is simply berrilicious!!;)

2 1/2 cups low fat vanilla soya milk(available at Trader Joe's)
1 banana
8-10 frozen strawberries
12-14 frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon sugar(or splenda)
About 5 ice cubes


Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend it until really smooth and well blended!

Enjoy the berry healthy smoothie! ;)

Tzatziki dip

This dip is excellent with a bunch of different foods. Goes great with falafel sandwiches, OR pita chips OR fresh veggies like carrots, celery, brocolli OR even with any kinda chips!

1 1/2 cups non fat greek yogurt ( available at Trader Joe's)
1 peeled and grated cucumber
1/2 small lemon
salt to taste
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 big clove or 2 small cloves finelly chopped garlic
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley


Strain the grated cucumber between the hands, to remove all the water possible! In a bowl add the greek yogurt and whisk it until it is of smooth consistency. Add the chopped garlic, parsley, cucumber, lemon juice from the 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper and mix it all well until blended. Simple and easy! :)

Harissa sauce

I made this sauce for the first time a couple days ago, and it turned out to be delicious in the falafel sandwich. A little bit goes a long way.;) Raj loved it too. He kept making fun of me that we could just add any kinda italian dressing with some fresh herbs until he tasted this one!

15 - 20 dried red chillies
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon caraway seeds(suva)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon of salt
About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Soak the dried red chillies in warm water for about half an hour. Then remove the seeds from all the chillies.

In a grinder, finely grind the caraway seeds, cumin and coriander seeds. Add the red chillies and salt and grind this mixer. Finally add the fresh herbs, that is mint and cilantro to this mixture and grind it once more. Remove it in a storage container. Add enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the entire mixer and cover up to 1/2 cm above the mixture in the container.

Falafel sandwiches

Yumm! Raj and I both love falafel sandwiches and I make them quite often. I usually make falafels, with tzatziki dip, hummus and harissa sauce, as well as some salad in a whole wheat pita. Its delicious and I make extra so that I can take it for lunch the next day as well!

1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
vegetable oil for frying

Whole wheat pitas
Harissa sauce (recipe to follow)
Tzatziki dip (recipe to follow)
Hummus (recipe to follow or you can buy hummus from Trader Joe's)
romaine lettuce cut lengthwise into thin strips
1 tomato diced into small cubes
1/2 peeled cucumber diced into small cubes(remove the seeds before chopping)
1/4 onion finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of chilli powder


Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

To make the salad, in a bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, cucumber, and onions. Mix it with little salt and pepper to taste, as well as a pinch of chilli powder and mix it.

To assemble the falafel sandwiches, cut the pita into 3/4ths lengthwise and open it up. Layer it with hummus and harissa sauce. Add the chopped romaine lettuce, salad, and the falafel balls, and the tzatziki dip. Add more lettuce and salad for that extra crunch! and its ready to eat ! :)