Pasta Salad- Vegetarian

Pasta Salad- Recipe adapted from Ina Garten, Serves 6 This Ina Garten recipe is made using Rotini (spiral-shaped) pasta and earned rave reviews from all the grown-ups in attendance at my daughter’s recent birthday party. Boil the pasta, cool, and add sun dried tomatoes, black olives, tomatoes, Parmesan Reggiano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and dressing (super delicious!) made from sun dried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, capers, garlic and olive oil. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta (I used Rotini pasta) Kosher salt Olive oil 2 medium sized ripe tomatoes, medium-diced 1 small can black olives, pitted and diced 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped For the dressing: 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Pav Bhaji

I hope you enjoy this recently uploaded video on how to prepare Pav-Bhaji! “Pav” ( small loaf of bread) Bhaji (veggies)” is a popular form of Indian fast food sold on street corners and restaurants alike. Delicious, cheap and easy-to-put together pav-bhaji is served with buttered bread hot off the stove. I am yet to meet a person who is not fond of this famous street food from India. Pav-bhaji is basically a thick potato-based mixture (tomatoes, green peas, carrots, cauliflower and capsicum) prepared on a flat griddle. A special masala called pav-bhaji masala is added to this with a dollop of butter on top. The mixture is garnished with chopped cilantro and onions flavored with lemon juice. INGREDIENTS: . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Black Daal or “Kaali Daal”

“Kaali Daal”- Serves 6 Black “daal” or “Mah ki daal” or “Kaali Daal” is a creamy, tasty lentil preparation that goes well with Indian bread and other rice preparations as well. Made with whole black gram, fresh ginger, red chilly powder, fresh garlic paste, cumin seeds, cream (I use 2% milk instead) and fresh cilantro. The longer you let the lentils cook the better – usually 3+ hours. Ingredients: 1 cup whole black gram “urad dal” 3 medium tomatoes grated 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon oil (I use canola cooking oil) 1/2 cup milk or cream 1 heaped tablespoon of fresh chopped ginegr salt to taste Tempering the lentil 2 tablespoons of butter 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 green . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Mushroom Masala

I made this mushroom gravy for dinner. I was surprised at how easy and delicious it was. Made with caramelized onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, milk and “Tandoori masala”. “Tandoori masala” gives the dish it’s bright red color. Tandoori masala is non-spicy and really enhances the flavor of this dish. I served it hot with some “naan”. The simple ingredients and preparation make the dish stand out. Caramelized onions gives a sweet taste. Fresh chopped cilantro and fresh zest of ginger and garlic, brighten up the dish and sautéd tomatoes and tomato paste gives it a tangy flavor. Finally, tandoori masala and milk for color and creamy-texture! Ingredients: 340 grams (12 0z) white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 2 tablespoons unsalted butter . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Paneer Rolls

Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) rolls consist of a scrumptious filling of paneer cooked with caramelized onions, tomatoes and tandoori masala. The bright red color comes from the tomato paste and tandoori masala. Rolled in a tortilla or “chappati” (traditional Indian flour bread) topped with chopped onions. From time-to-time I’ll add homemade green chutney for a more traditional flavor! I have put the paneer filling in “Kawan” chappati which is a Malaysian brand that you can find in the frozen section of the Indian grocery store. If using these, do not defrost them. Heat on a pre heated pan until cooked. You can also use flour tortillas which work great because of their softness. You need Paneer and "Rajah" tandoori masala . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Puffed Chickpea In Yogurt “Boondi Raita”

Last weekend, I had my neighbours over for an “authentic” Indian meal. I was excited to cook for them. I prepared chicken curry, lentils, potatoes with cumin, okra and boondi raita. They found boondi raita to be unique since they have only tried raitas with cucumbers and tomatoes at local restaurants. They were thrilled to know that it was so easy to make. My friend said she would make this as a side with some grilled chicken. Traditionally, boondi raita is served as a side dish with chicken curry, pilafs or even with lentils and rice. “Boondi” are tiny, round, fried droplets made from chickpea flour, readily available at any Indian grocery store. To make raita, look for salted boondi. . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Chickpeas “Chana Masala”

This is one of the easiest Chickpea recipe’s I have ever come across and is a big hit with all my friends. INGREDIENTS: 1 big cup dry chickpeas (soaked overnight) 2 medium size onions chopped fine 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste 2 green chillies chopped fine 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder “Jeera” 1/4 teaspoon turmeric “haldi” 1/4 teaspoon red chilly powder 2 tablespoons chickpea flour 1 tablespoon tamarind paste “Imli”or soak tamarind in water, squeeze the water out and use this. 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder 2 cups water 6 tablespoons oil salt to taste METHOD: Heat oil in a vessel. Fry the onions to a light brown color. This can take up to 10 minutes. Add ginger, green chillies . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Tangy Yellow Lentil “Hubby’s Favorite”

This tangy “dal” is a delicious combination of tomatoes, ginger, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and tamarind. Served on a bed of white rice with a side of minced cauliflowers (“gobi kheema”and potato chips (or home fries), this flavorful “dal” is a staple in our household. Of all places, I learned of this dish’s exalted status in my new home while honeymooning in the Maldives! Within a few days of feasting some of the finest seafood ever prepared, my husband began craving home cooking. Many blissful days later, I found myself writing notes as my mother-in-law introduced me to this fine recipe. For the dal: Cook the dal with water, turmeric, 1 tablespoon oil and salt to taste. Keep aside. I . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Coeur A La Creme- Eggless

Coeur A La Creme – recipe by Ina Garten ( Barefoot Contessa In Paris) I discovered Coeur A La Creme while watching an episode of “Barefoot Contessa” one afternoon about 2 years ago. I remember feeling thrilled on finally finding a delicious, egg and gluten-free dessert that I could serve my then 3-year old daughter. Until that point, we always had to scramble to find dessert alternatives for her at home, at school and at birthday parties because of her allergies to everyday foods like wheat and eggs. Coeur A La Creme offered all the joys of a stunningly delicious dessert with none of the anxiety! Years later, I am ecstatic that she’s over her allergies and Coeur A La . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Lentil Dumplings In Yogurt Sauce “Dahi wadas”

  Wishing everyone a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year.”Diwali ” is the festival of lights. The triumph of good over evil and worshipping ” Laxmi” the goddess of wealth. Traditionally Diwali is the time when we light small oil lamps all around the house, make lots of good food and sweets. It’s a time for family and friends to get together. We also have a family “puja” on the main Diwali night followed by a lavish meal and lots of fireworks. Another tradition is that we go to my friend Divya’s house for a Diwali party. Divya decorates the house beautifully and makes the most delicious Indian sweets. This year, I made ‘Dahi Wadas” which is ground . . . CLICK TO READ MORE