Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bell Pepper Rice

Lunch… really was not in the mood to cook…rather prepping…so I opened the refrigerator to explore what I had there… Leftover rice, diced bell peppers in 3 colors (leftover from Pizza topping 3 days ago) and hey, sliced onions (thanks to my maid)! And here’s the end result…

3 tbsps
Cumin seeds
1 tsp
Onion (sliced)
1 medium
Garlic (grated/chopped/crushed)
1 tsp
Green chilies (slit/chopped)
Diced bell peppers ( all colors)
2 cups
¼ cup
¼ cup
Cooked rice
2 cups

Chopped fresh coriander

Lime juice
1 tsp

1.       Heat about oil in a kadhai and add cumin seeds.
2.       Now add sliced onions, green chilies and garlic.
3.       Sauté until onions begin to brown.
4.       Add diced bell peppers, corn and peas and sauté until peas are cooked. Take care to ensure that the peppers don’t lose their crunch. To ensure this, sauté on high heat and do not cover.
5.       Use a fork to loosen the rice. Add salt and chopped coriander to it and mix lightly.
6.       Add the rice mix to the kadhai and mix well.
7.       Cover and let it cook on low heat for about 5 mins.
8.       Add lime juice and mix.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Raw Mango Daal

Toor Dal
Raw Mango (peeled and chopped)
1 medium (test the sourness and adjust accordingly)
Onion (chopped finely)
½ medium
Green chilies (slit lengthwise)
3-4 (adjust as per taste)
¼ tsp
3 tsps.
¼ tsp
Whole red chilies
Mustard seeds
½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds
¼ tsp
Cumin seeds
½ tsp
Garlic cloves (crushed/chopped)
Curry leaves
Fresh coriander (chopped)
A little

1.       Wash tur dal and place in a pressure cooker vessel with approximately 200ml water.
2.       In another cooker vessel, place the chopped raw mango, onion, green chilies and turmeric.
3.       Place both vessel one atop the other and place in the pressure cooker and cook on high heat until one whistle. After that decrease the heat to a simmer and cook for 7-10 mins.
4.       Mix the dal and the mango mixture carefully. Add salt.
5.       In a small kadhai take oil and add the remaining ingredients in the order given in the list.

6.       Add to the dal mix and stir well.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chicken Curry - Simple

2 medium chopped finely
Ginger-garlic paste
1 tbsp
1/2 tsp
1 tsp
Coriander powder
1 and 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder
1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder
1/2 tsp
Whole garam masala
 (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf)
All together about 1 tbsp
1/2 cup
2 tbsps
To taste
Fresh coriander
To garnish

Method 1

1.       Beat dahi until smooth, add salt, turmeric and 1/2 of the ginger -garlic paste
2.       Marinate the chicken in the mixture.
3.       While the chicken is marinating, chop onions.
4.       In a kadhai, heat oil  and add the whole garam masalas
5.       Now add the onion and fry until brown.
6.       Now add the ginger-garlic paste, and all the dry masalas (except the garam masala Powder)
7.       Fry the masala until the oil begins to separate
8.       Now add the chicken along with the marinade, mix well, cover and cook on low heat for about 15-20 mins (until the chicken is done)
9.       Add garam masala powder and simmer for about 5 mins.
10.   Garnish with fresh coriander

Method 2 (Microwave)

1.       Marinate the chicken following steps 1 & 2 above.
2.       Quarter the onions
3.       Take 1 tbsp oil in a microwave safe bowl and add quartered onions to it. zap on full power for 3 -4 mins
4.       The onions should begin to change color by this time. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, all the dry spices, except garam masala powder and about a tablespoon of water. Mix well and  zap on full power for about 5 mins
5.        Run this in the blender
6.        Now, take 2 tbsp. of oil in the kadhai, let it warm up
7.        Add the whole masalas, and then the blended mixture and fry on full heat until oil begins to separate
8.       Follow same steps as in Method 1 from step 8 onwards.

Monday, May 6, 2013


As I have said (one time too many) I like short-cuts in cooking…and while I am willing to concede that the age old long-drawn process will bring you better results, let’s get real… on an average working-day or weekend, who has the inclination to slog endlessly in the kitchen over the stove. Well, I know many would say its simpler to eat out… but somehow there are a few dishes that are best home-made. For me, MUTTON is one of them. My mother and grandmother really spoilt it for me…they made such amazing mutton dishes that I rarely like mutton outside the house. Since I discovered the Microwave in the early ‘90’s I became a big fan…and over the last 20 odd years, I have figured out ways to use microwave, along with traditional cooking methods to cut down on time, effort and make it a little more healthy…

I usually prefer to stock my refrigerator and freezer with enough raw material to cook whatever I want as and when the whim takes me. So, when I buy fresh mutton, I make the time to clean it, wash it and cut into a size I like (1” cubes). Then I put it in the pressure cooker, add some ginger garlic paste (approximately 1/3 of what you would need) some turmeric, salt, and a few bay leaves. I let this cook on high heat for about 1 whistle and then lower the heat and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Once this is done, I divide it into portions and put it in freezer- microwave safe containers and freeze them. What this does is, that it cuts the cooking time for the mutton down to half, when you are actually making it.


Mutton (goat) (washed carefully, cleaned and cubed)
½ kg
Ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp
¼ tsp

Bay leaves
For the masala

5 tsp.
Whole cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves
2-3 of each
Onions (peeled and chopped finely)
2 large/3medium
Tomatoes (chopped)
2 medium
Ginger garlic paste
1 ½ tsp
¼ tsp
Chili powder
1 tsp
Coriander powder
1 ½ tsp
Cumin powder
½ tsp
To taste
Garam masala powder
½ tsp
Chopped fresh coriander

1.       Place all the ingredients under “pre-cook” in the pressure cooker and cook on high until 1 whistle, then lower the heat to a simmer and keep for 5 mins.
2.       Add 2 tsps of oil to a microwave safe bowl and add half of whole garam masalas to it, along with chopped onions. Zap on high for 3-5 mins (depending on the efficiency of your microwave). At the end of this, the onions should be translucent.
3.       Add chopped tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste to it, mix and zap on high for another 3 minutes.
4.       Now take it out of the microwave and let it cool a bit.
5.       Run it in the blender so that you have a coarse paste.
6.       Place a wok on high heat and add about 3 tsps of oil to it. Once the oil is warm add the remaining whole garam masalas to it and then add the paste.
7.       Now add the pre-cooked mutton to the wok and mix well.
8.       Keep on high heat stirring intermittently until all the water evaporates and the oil begins to separate. Since we did not put in much oil, don’t expect a lot to come out. So watch for a glaze and oil on the edges.
9.       Normally, the mutton should be cooked completely by this time. If, however, it still feels a bit tough and undercooked, simply transfer to the cooker and cook until 2 whistles on high. This should do it. This is a bit tricky as you have to figure out how much more cooking it requires. Over cooked mutton disintegrates and tastes pretty bad, so try to avoid over cooking.
10.   Add salt and garam masala powder and mix well.
11.   At this point, you can choose whether you want a semi-dry bhuna-gosht kind of consistency or you prefer it with a gravy. For the former, simply cover the wok and cook on low heat for about 5 mins and then garnish with chopped fresh coriander. For the later, simply add water and bring to boil. Let it simmer for 5 mins and then garnish with fresh coriander.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Super Quick Aloo-Gobhi (Cauliflower)

This is one dish that is almost universally liked. And if you are tired or have unexpected guests, this goes really fast.
3 tsps
Cumin seeds               
½ tsp
Ginger (grated/chopped)        
1 tsp
Cauliflower (broken into medium sized florets)
¼ kg

Potatoes (peeled and quartered)              
¼ kg
¼ tsp
Chili Powder
½ - ¾ tsp
Coriander Powder
1 ½ tsp
Cumin Powder
¼  tsp
to taste
Chopped fresh coriander
to garnish

Method -
1.        Place a pan on the stove on low heat
2.       Add oil
3.       Place the Cauliflower florets and Potato quarters in a ceramic (microwave safe) bowl
4.       Add about 50 ml water
5.       Cover and set to cook on low power for 5 mins. (please adjust time and power as per the quantity you are making)
6.       By now the oil in the pan is warm, add the cumin seeds and wait for them to splutter
7.       Add the ginger and stir to prevent burning.
8.       By this time, your veggies will be done in the microwave, so take them out.
9.       To the oil in the pan, add all the spices and stir properly to mix them all well
10.    Now add the microwaved veggies into the pan and mix well
11.      Add salt
12.     Cover and cook on medium heat for about 5 mins (or until the veggies are cooked to your liking)
13.     Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
Tips –
1.        Cauliflower tastes better if it’s slightly undercooked and retains the crunch.
2.       Adjust spices as per your liking. Amchur and garam masala added in the last 5 minutes of cooking works very well.
3.       You can also add a tomato immediately after you add the spices to the oil and then add water in the end to make a “rasse-wali sabji”.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Quick Vegetable Noodles

Noodles                                                                           1 Pack
Oil                                                                                        3 tsp.
Ginger-garlic paste                                              1 tsp.
Green chilies slit                                                      2-3 (to taste)
Onions sliced                                                              1
Carrot strips                                                               ½ cup
French Beans slit lengthwise                         ½ cup
Capsicum sliced                                                      ½ cup
Cabbage sliced                                                         ½ cup
Taste maker from the pack of noodles

1.        Cook noodles as per instructions on the pack
2.       Place a wok/kadhai on full heat on the stove
3.       Add oil and wait for it to warm
4.       Then add ginger-garlic paste and green-chilies. This will splutter rather violently, so be sure to stir all the time until the water has evaporated. Another way to do this, is to use grated or finely chopped ginger and garlic, instead of paste.
5.       Add onion and stir until they are translucent
6.       Now add each vegetable, one at a time. Ensure that the heat is on full and that you keep stirring quickly. Give each vegetable a few minutes to cook, before adding the next one.
7.       Once the vegetables are cooked (they should not be soggy and over cooked… stir-fry should retain some of the vegetable’s crispness) add the cooked noodles and the tastemaker.
8.       Now, using two forks or chopsticks, lightly toss everything until the noodles and vegetables are combined well. You may need to add a teaspoon of oil at this point to ensure that the noodles are also coated rather than have them floury and sticky.
9.       Taste and adjust salt.
10.    Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.