Jul 13, 2016 1 comment:

Palak Chole

This recipe is the hybrid of two popular north indian recipes, Palak Paneer and Chole Masala. As my son is fond of Palak Paneer, I wanted to try something healthy and variety with Palak (Spinach) without loosing the protein content in the recipe and this Palak Chole resulted in the kitchen. It tasted so good, subtle in spices and perfect for kiddos to infuse some greens and protein in their diet. This is a keeper and here is the recipe, njoy!

Chick Peas / Garbanzo  / Chana - 1 Can
Spinach - 2 cup ( leaves)
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Green Chili - 1
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon - 2
Clove - 1
Bay leaf - 2
Oil - 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Red Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chole Masala - 1 tsp ( Shaan or Everest Brand)

Preparatory Steps:

  • Open the can and wash Chickpeas under lukewarm water and drain in a colander. Heat nonstick pan add 1 tsp oil to the pan and add drained chickpeas to the pan. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric + 1/2 tsp salt to the chana and saute them well for 5 min and switch off the stove. 
  • Add 2 Cups of water to the stock pot and heat water for few minutes, until hits boiling stage. Add spinach to the boiling water and leave it for 5 min. You notice spinach leaves getting wilted. After 5 min, switch off the stove, drain spinach leaves and cool them in colander. Once it is cooled, grind in a mixie or magic/nutri bullet until it becomes smooth paste.


  1. Heat non-stick pan and 1 Tbsp of Oil. Once the oil is hot, add cinnamon stick, clove, cumin seeds and bay leaf. After 1 min, add chopped onions, green chili. Saute the onions slightly until they become transparent, add add ginger garlic paste, mix well with onions. After 3 min, add chopped tomato to the onion mixture and mix it well, close the lid and simmer for 2 min. 
  2. Add remaining salt, coriander powder, red chili powder. mix everything well and close the lid and simmer for 3 min. After that you notice the gravy coming together, then add spinach puree to the pan and mix well with onion and tomato mixture. As the gravy starts boiling add sauteed chickpeas to the pan and combine well until coated with spinach gravy and spices. Add chole masala to the pan, mix well and close the lid and simmer for 5 min on medium to low heat.
  3. After 5 min, open lid, taste and adjust any seasonings as needed and switch off the stove. 
  4. Transfer Palak Chole to a serving bowl and it is ready to be served with warm roti / pulka / chapathi / naan. 


  • In this recipe, use less salt than usual as spinach and canned chana will salty already.
  • As i am in rush time I have used canned chana in this recipe. If you have time to plan ahead, you can use fresh chana ( Chick Peas / Garbanzo beans). Soak 1 cup chana overnight and pressure cook in the cooker until they become slightly soft and still firm. ( up to 1 whistle in pressure cooker)
  • While serving roti with this dish, you can serve cucumber + onion + cilantro salad on the side. 

Hope you liked this fusion recipe, will be back with another new dish
until then take care and happy cooking

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Jun 21, 2016 1 comment:

Tilapia Fish Curry with Star Anise

I am not a big fan of SeaFood but knowing the benefits of it, started cooking fish for hubby and kids. I didn't dare to go near Salmon yet, but for now settling down with Tilapia and trying several recipes with it. Today making simple Fish Curry with Tilapia infused with Star Anise flavors. I have adapted this recipe from Runnin Srilankan space, it was a big hit at our family table and since then this recipe is saved and cherished. Here is my version for you, Njoy!

Tilapia - 4 to 5 Filets
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 2 Cluster Tomatoes
Salt - 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Star Anise - 3 (whole)
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Vegetable Oil - 2 Tbsp
Coconut Milk - 1 can
Coriander Leaves - 1 Tbsp chopped ( for garnish)

Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp


  1. Mix all the ingredients under spices section in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the Tilapia filets on both sides and set in a wide plate.
  2. Take a wide non-stick pan keep it on stove on medium heat, add vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot add Star Anise and Mustard seeds. As mustard starts spluttering, add chopped onions. Saute them for 2 to 3 min. Add ginger garlic paste to the pan and mix with onions. saute for 4 to 5 min, until onions becomes translucent. 
  3. Add chopped tomato cubes to the pan and mix with onions. add salt to the pan and mix well. Close the lid and cook for 5 more minutes. 
  4. After 5 min, you will notice gravy forming, add marinated tilapia filet to the pan and cook on medium heat, flipping them gently until both sides gets cooked; ( takes only 5 min).
  5. Add 1 can of coconut milk to the pan and close the lid and let it cook for 10 min or until gravy comes together.
  6. Switch off the stove and serve Creamy and Spicy Tilapia curry with White Rice or Naan. 


  • If you don't have tomatoes handy, you can replace with 3 Tbsp of Tomato Puree. I prefer fresh tomatoes as they give slight tangy taste.
  • Tomato Puree also will give nice bright red color. 
  • My Red Chili powder is super spicy and bright red in color, that is reason behind this beautiful color. if you want more spiciness, you can increase the red chili powder quantity, after you give taste test in in final step.
  • I don't have coriander handy, so garnished with mint in mine. 

Will be back with another simple fish recipe,
Happy Cooking until then

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Jun 19, 2016 3 comments:

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

Riped Bananas in the fruit bowl on my kitchen countertop are hinting me that they are going to be wasted in the next 2 days, If i don't put them to good use. Usually i get tempted to buy bananas in bulk when i see them fresh  at the store, with the promise to consume them all before they go ripe . Then after coming home it is a different story, i tend to forget to eat and they get ripe quickly esp in this summer. Then I see the possible ways of making a dish out of it, usually that is Banana Bread.  As I have tried several varieties in the past and looking for a new recipe, and stumbled upon this Nutella Swirled Banana Bread recipe, I have made some modifications to the recipe to suit my needs and Bread happened right then in my oven, it turned out beautiful and delicious. I took this bread to my colleagues at work and they Aah oohed and demanded for the recipe. So here is the recipe, Njoy!
Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

Ripe Bananas - 3

All Purpose Flour (APF) - 2 cups
Salt - a pinch
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Cinnamon Powder- 1/2 tsp

Butter - 1 cup ( 2 sticks)
Sugar - 1 cup ( i have used sugar in the raw)
Eggs - 2 Large
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp

Nutella - 1 Cup

Preparatory Steps:
  1. First peel bananas and add to medium bowl. By using fork mash the ripe bananas until they are completely mashed. 
  2. Mix APF, salt, baking soda and cinnamon powder in a medium bowl and set aside. 
  3. Take a 9*9 Bread Loaf pan and butter it on all sides and corners or spray with PAM oil.
  4. Pre heat the oven to 350 F
  1. Take a large bowl and melt the butter for 30 sec microwave. Add Sugar to the bowl and mix well with butter. Add eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix with sugar and butter until everything is well combined. 
  2. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix well until it is combined properly. 
  3. Add mashed bananas to the batter and fold gently up and down until it is fully incorporated. 
  4.  Pour 1/3 of batter into buttered loaf pan and spread it evenly, then add 1/3 of nutella scoops on top and swirl through it with fork or knife. Repeat this step until batter and nutella is done. 
  5. Tap the loaf pan on all sides so that the air bubbles will come out, which helps the bread to be intact while baking. 
  6. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour ( 60 minutes) in conventioanl oven.
  7. Once the oven is done, take the loaf pan out and cool for 3o min. Once it is cooled off invert the Bread to a plate, slice and enjoy along with morning coffee or afternoon tea. 

These bread slices can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or 4 to 5 days in refrigerator.

  • I have used Sugar in the Raw in this recipe, which is less sugary compare to white sugar. Since bananas are riped, you don't need lot of sugar for this recipe. If you have sweet tooth, you can up the sugar by 1/2 cup more in the same recipe. 
  • If you want slimmer version, replace  1 cup butter with 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, then taste will be discounted too, but you may not notice. 
  • Cinnamon powder is my addition in the recipe, I like slight spice with Banana or Apple dishes, if you don't like it you can skip it, no problem. 
  • If you want to vary this recipe with nuts, you can add  chopped walnuts or pecans on top to add some crunch and nutty taste. 

Hope you have enjoyed this recipe!
Take care until we meet here again

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Jun 13, 2016 2 comments:

Kakarakaya Kaaram ~ Spicy Karela ~ Andhra Recipes

This Kakarakaya Kaaram ( Spicy Karela) holds special place in my heart as this recipe comes from my Grandmother's Kitchen. When Grandma makes it there is some special flavor as she cooks with lots of patience and loads of love. My aunts inherit the recipe from Grand Ma, when aunt was here in states, I asked her to make this dish and jot down the recipe from her, for my future reference! Here is the recipe for you, Njoy!

For Boiling:
Karela ~ Kakarakaya - 1 kg
Butter milk - 1 cup
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp

For Kaaram Grinding:
Red Chili Powder - 4 Tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Garlic - 10 cloves
Salt - 1 tsp

For Frying:
Oil -  4 Tbsp
Curry Leaves - 10 (optional)
Onion - 2 medium ( or chopped 1 cup)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Jaggery - 2 Tbsp

Preparatory Steps:
  • Wash Karela under lukewarm water. Mix butter milk, tamarind, turmeric powder and salt in a non-stick pot. Add Karela ( without trimming the edges) to the buttermilk mixture in the pot. Boil Karela in buttermilk mixture for 15 to 20 min until Karela becomes soft or buttermilk evaporates completely.
  • Switch off the stove and take the karela in a plate and set them aside to cool. Once they are cooled off, trim the edges and chop them into medium pieces.
  • Grind all the ingredients under Kaaram Grinding section in a small mixie jar into fine powder. 
  1. Heat 4 Tbsp of oil in nonstick pan. Once the oil is hot add curry leaves and chopped karela, fry them for 5 min. Take the Karela pieces out of the pan. 
  2. Add chopped onion to the same non-stick pan. Fry onions for 4 min. Add salt and turmeric to onions and fry them for another 6 min. Onions should be fully sauteed and soft. 
  3. Add ground kaaram to the onion mixture and mix well. Add karela pieces to the pan and coat with kaaram and onion mixture. 
  4. Finally add jaggery to the karela pieces in the pan, in 5 min Jaggery should be melted and mixed with Karela pieces. Switch off the stove and keep the pan on there for 5 min. 
  5. After 5 min transfer the Karela Kaaram to air tight container. Serve with hot white rice and some Ghee, tastes absolutely delicious. 

This stores good for upto 15 days at room temperature or 30 days in the refrigerator.

  • For good color and spiciness, use Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder. Chilli powder quantity matters based on your spice level. If you eat more spice, then you can add more red chili powder in this recipe.
  • Always get fresh and tender Karela for this recipe. Avoid too much riped ones and make sure the seeds are not that hard.
  • Do not trim the edges of Karela while boiling in butter milk. If you trim, the buttermilk goes inside karela and makes it mushy than keeping it firm. 

Will be back with another traditional recipe from my Grand Mother's heritage!
take care until then

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May 20, 2016 2 comments:

Dappalam ~ Mixed Vegetable Stew ~ Andhra Recipes

Dappalam is a very fine and traditional delicacy of Andhra Kitchen. If Sambar is to State of Tamilnadu, then Dappalam is to State of Andhra Pradesh.  Both dishes are common in, vegetables getting cooked in tamarind stew but Sambar is cooked along with lentils ( pappu), where Dappalam is served along with lentils (Pappu). That is the difference. This is also called as 'Mukkala Pulusu', (ముక్కల పులుసు) literally translates to Mixed Vegetable Stew. This goes well with rice and it is very nutritious as lot of squash vegetables are cooked in this stew with very less oil. This is one traditional recipe that is made for festivals like Sankranti or Ugadi makes this Festive Dish. By making this dish also you can bring the festive touch on a normal regular day. :-) Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Summer or squash vegetables  - 2 cups  (Vankaya ~ Eggplant, Gummadikaya ~ Pumpkin, Potato, Mulakkada ~ Drumstick, Sorakaya ~ Squash, Carrot)
Onion - 1 medium
Green Chili - 4
Tomato - 1 (use juicy and cluster ones for great color)
Tamarind Extract - 1 Tbsp
Jaggery - 1 Tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - 2 Cups
Rice Flour - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Cilantro - for Garnish

For Tempering:
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Red Chili- 2
Chana Dal -  1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing ( or Asafetida) - pinch
Curry Leaves - 10


  1. Take a heavy bottom pan and add mixed vegetables, onion, green chili except pumpkin along with 1 cup of water and boil vegetables for 10 min. Add tomato and pumpkin pieces ( gummadi kaya) and cook for 5 more minutes. You notice that vegetables are semi cooked and becoming tender. 
  2. Now add tamarind extract to the pot, add remaining cup of water. Add salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, rice flour to the pot, mix everything well and cook for 10-15 minutes until you get thick stew consistency.
  3. Taste and adjust all the seasonings, add jaggery and cook stew until jaggery melts into it ( 5 more min).
  4. Keep non-stick pan on another stove, add oil. Once oil is hot, add red chili, chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric powder and hing( asafetida) and make the tempering. 
  5. Add this tempering to stew and mix well. Finally add coriander leaves ( cilantro) to the stew pot and switch off the stove and transfer to serving bowl. 
  6. Serve with hot white rice, along with mudda pappu ( plain dal) and some ghee! Yummmm Sounds delicious and heavenly. 

If you don't have time or patience you can pressure cook in step #, but that won't give you the authentic taste for this dish.

will be back with another traditional dish,
Happy cooking until then!

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