Thursday, November 18, 2010

Carrot Zucchini Bread

This recipe is from a great cookbook I received from my sis.  I absolutely LOVE this bread and could eat loads of it...thankfully it is full of veggies too! Try it out and try to resist eating more than one slice.  I modified the recipe to decrease the sugar and omit the candied ginger (didn't have any at the time). 

Carrot Zucchini Bread
Adapted from "Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America's Farmers)


  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cups oil (canola is recommended, I've used olive oil)
  • 1 cup sugar (add more if you want it sweeter)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and grated (large grater holes)
  • 1 cup zucchini, peeled and grated (large grater holes)
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Coat two 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inch loaf pans with nonstick spray.
  2. Sift together with flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Stir in salt.
  3. In large bowl, whisk eggs until light and foamy. Add oil, sugar and vanilla, whisk until sugar dissolves. Whisk in carrots and zucchini.
  4. Add ingredients from step two into wet mixture all at once. Stir with wooden spoon until just blended. Divide the batter equally between the two pans.
  5. Bake until the breads are rise and are firm to touch and toothpick comes out clean. (About 1 hour) Let bread cool in pans on a rack for 10 min and then invert and finish cooling right side up on a rack.

Double Chocolate Brownies

I am definitely NOT a chocolate fan, but alas, the hubby and kid are.  I tried this recipe from Martha Stewart's "Best Chocoloate Recipes" section in Martha Stewart Living.  The results? Delicious (by those that partake in the eating of chcoloate!).  I've made the recipe a few times and experimented with the type of chocolate (from milk to dark) and the amount of sugar.  I have a link below to the original recipe and you can see my variation below.

Double Chocolate Brownies
Makes 9 large squares
Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces chopped chocolate (take your pick: bittersweet, milk or dark; the better the chocolate, the better the brownies)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar (add more if you like super sweet brownies)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
  2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
  4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Lemon Rice

I fell in love with lemon rice after having at at a party.  Its a nice way to use leftover rice and super tasty! I forget where I got the original recipe...but here is my take on it.

Lemon Rice

  • 1.5 cups leftover rice
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • ½ cup roasted cashews
  • ¼ tsp haldi (turmeric)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1 tablespoon channa dal
  • ½ tablespoon urad dal
  • Pinch hing
  • 15-18 curry leaves (limdi)

  1. Heat oil in pan on medium high heat. Add rai. When it pops, add channa dal and urad dal and saute until they turn brown. Add hing and curry leaves.
  2. Then add onion and saute until translucent. Then add turmeric and green chilies.
  3. Next add the cooked rice, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Mix well.
  4. Turn off the heat and add roasted cashews.
  5. Serve with raita or yogurt.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Indian Mexican Rice

When I saw this recipe on Saffron Trail, I had to try it! I got Monica Bhide's book "Modern Spice" from the library to get a better look at it as well.  This recipe (with some modifications made) was great! A nice one pot meal that even the kid ate up!  I will modify this recipe even more next time to make it with black beans.

Indian Mexican Rice
Adapted from the recipe by Monica Bhide
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (add less if you don't like garlic)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp red chili powder (add more/less to suit your taste)
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 cup cooked kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced red tomatoes
  • 1 cup mixed red/yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt (add more/less to your taste)
  • 2.5 cups water
  1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add whole cumin.  When it turns brown, add the garlic and onions and stir for ~5 minutes until soft.   Add rice and cook for a few minutes until rice is coated with oil.   This helps the rice absorb more flavor.
  2. Add the remaining spices and stir.  Cook for ~30 seconds.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, salt and water.  Once the water comes to a boil, lower heat and cover and cook until rice is done (~10-12 minutes). 
  4. Optional: If you made your rice mild (to serve multiple palates), add a dash or two of your favorite hot sauce to bring out all the flavors.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tawa Pulao

I found this yummy yummy pulao recipe from another site.  It was a great find and goes well with some cool raita or dahi (yogurt).  It was the perfect recipe because I already had all the veggies cut up from making mexican pizzas!  This is my slight variation from the one on Chef in You

Tawa Pulao
Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 inch ginger, grated
  • 4-6 minced garlic garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 large tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Pav Bhaji masala (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup green peas, frozen (if using fresh, boil it before hand)
  • 1 cup baby spinach chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies (optionals)
  • ~2-1/2 cups cooked rice (leftovers work great)
  • 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • fresh cilantro leaves for garnish, as needed
  1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin and fennel.  When aromatic, add onions, ginger, garlic, chillies along with salt.  Cook for a few minutes.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, garbanzo beans and bell peppers with a few tablespoons of water.  Add spices and cook for a few minutes until water comes out of tomatoes.  Simmer until tomatoes are cooked.
  3. Add the spinach and peas and cook for ~2 minutes until spinach wilts.  Once done, add rice and cilantro.  Mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I absolutely LOVE muthiya.  It is a favorite dish of childhood made with leftover rice.  I could never get mine to taste like my mom's...until she gave me her recipe in detail.  Now the kid and I enjoy these...we're still working on the hubby to enjoy them.  They are steamed dumplings? Not sure how to describe them other than they are yummy and healthy!


  • 1.5 cups of wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons of besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1 tablespoon of semolina or rava
  • 1/2 cup (or more) leftover rice mashed
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon haldi
  • 1 tablespoon minced/grated ginger
  • 1 jalepeno (optional)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt
  • Tadka/Vagar: 1 tablespoon oil; 1 teaspoon mustard seeds; 1 teaspoon sesame seeds)
  1. Mix all of the above except tadka/vagar and yogurt.  Add yogurt to mix.  Do not make the dough/batter too soft or sticky.  Add additional yogurt and water as needed.
  2. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. Make into small logs (will have to post pictures later).  Place in steamer.  Steam for 10-15 minutes until soft.
  4. Once done, set aside for 5 minutes.  Once cooled somewhat, cut into small circles. 
  5. Heat oil and mustard seeds in pan.  When crackle, add sesame seeds and steamed muthiyas. Brown for a few minutes and enjoy with some chai or on its own!

Bengali Dal

I found this recipe in my quest to make different dals and it is a keeper.  I found it in a recipe book from the library and adapted it to meet my taste!

Bengali Dal
Serves 4

  • 1 cup channa dal
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoon of panch pharon mixture (equal parts cumin, fennel, fenugreek, black mustard and nigella seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons amchoor
  • 1/2 teaspoon haldi/turmeric
  • chopped/sliced red onions for garnish
  1. Wash channa dal and soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in small pan and add panch pharon.  Add mango powder and dal.  Add salt, haldi and 2 cups of water.
  3. Cook in pressure cooker for 7 minutes or 4 whistles or on stove top until dal is cooked.
  4. Enjoy with rice with red onions on top.

Veggie Pho - Veggie Noodle Soup

It has been too long since I've posted a new recipe. This one is worth the wait (at least I think it is!)). This has become our new favorite soup. Does it taste like the traditional Vietnamese pho? No, but it is REALLY good. It is now in our rotation of soups and a "go to" soup when we want something warm.

My recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman's Faux Pho to meet my tastes.

Veggie Pho

 Adapted from Mark Bittman
Serves 4

  • 8 oz noodles (take your pick, I choose  Organic Udon)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (i grate it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground anise (or coriander seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (or cinnamon or nutmeg)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup soy sauce (i use the light kind)
  • cilantro (garnish)
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • scallions for garnish
  • 2 limes, for garnish
  • 1 lb stir fry mix (or pick your favorite veggies)
  • 1 cup diced firm tofu or edamame
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)
  1. Heat oil in pot.  Add garlic and ginger for 1 minute.  Add spices until warm (~1 minute).  Stirm in 8 cups of water and soy sauce.  Bring to boil. 
  2. Add noodles and cook (mine take about 5-6 minutes).  Ad veggies and tofu. 
  3. Put in bowls and top with cilantro, scallions, chillis and squeeze of lime.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flour Tortillas

In my craze to try and make things fresh and at home, I decided to experiment with flour tortillas. The inspiration was my new tortilla maker given to me by my parents. The results were so yummy that I will be making more!

Here is recipe that I adapted from one found on All Recipes. I changed to my tastes. You can do the same. I think I'll experiment more next time by adding spinach and other fun ingredients.

Home made Flour Tortillas
Makes one dozen

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon low fat butter
  • ~3/4-1 cup hot water
  1. Mix the flours, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in butter with your fingers until it appears to be a crumbly mixture.
  3. Add in the water and mix until the dough comes together. You can either knead it by hand or using the stand mixer until it is smooth.
  4. Divide the dough into 24 small balls and roll out into circle. Roll out one at a time using a little bit of flour. Keep the other balls under a towel to prevent drying.
  5. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Put rolled out tortilla and cook until golden. Flip and cook on both sides. Place on plate under a towel to keep them soft.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yummy Whole Wheat Muffins (Really!)

When you think of whole wheat muffins, they are usually super dense and not very tasty. So when I came across this recipe from Mark Bittman, I had to try it out (esp since the kiddo loves muffins/cucpakes). The result, yummy! Moist and not dense. Give it a try with your favorite fruit or veggie.

Blueberry Whole Wheat Muffins
From Mark Bittman
Yields ~14


  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pureed blueberries
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease one 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, banana, egg and buttermilk.
  4. Fold wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Fill muffin tins or liners; bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until muffins are puffed and turning golden brown on top. Serve warm if possible.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I love falafels! They're not only super tasty, but good for you (ok, if they're not deep fried). I've been hunting for a recipe to mimic ones I made so many years ago. I think I may finally have found the recipe! I made them this week and they are super easy to make. The only change I would make next time is to use parsley and cilantro rather than cilantro alone. The key to making these is to not add too much water (almost none at all) when you grind the garbanzo beans. The one variation I did was not to deep fry them, but make them into patties and grill them.

From Mark Bittman
Yield 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Scant teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 cup chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Neutral oil, for pan frying
  1. Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 or 4 inches; they will triple in volume. Soak for 24 hours, adding water if needed to keep beans submerged.
  2. Drain beans well (reserve soaking water) and transfer to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil; pulse until minced but not pureed, scraping sides of bowl down; add soaking water if necessary to allow machine to do its work, but no more than 1 or 2 tablespoons. Keep pulsing until mixture comes together. Taste, adding salt, pepper, cayenne or lemon juice to taste.
  3. Put small amount of oil in frying pan and heat until fairly hot.
  4. Shape into small patties. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Roasted Green Beans

This has become a new favorite. What a GREAT way to eat a veggie and a no fuss way to make it! I found this on Recipezaar so I will take no credit for it. Since each green bean variety has a slightly different taste, the final outcome will taste different depending on the variety you use. Use what you like, it is a no fuss recipe.

Roasted Green Beans Recipe
Yield: 4-6 (or just 2 hungry monsters)

  • 2 lbs blue lake green beans (or your favorite variety)
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil (just enough to lightly coat the beans..not fry them)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or leave out if you're watching salt intake)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (or leave out)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. (Can be made in toaster oven as well)
  2. Wash, dry well, and trim green beans.
  3. Put the beans in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper if using. Toss with your hands to evenly coat the beans.
  4. Spread them out into 1 layer on the cookie sheet or toaster oven safe pan.
  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes, until beans are fairly brown in spots and somewhat shriveled. Timing will vary if you use a toaster oven. Just keep an eye on them.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Pomegranate Tea Cakes with Lime Glaze

I was looking to experiment with a different flavor of cupcakes for a potluck. As this was for Indians, I knew I would need a recipe that wasn't too sweet. I really wanted to make a pomegranate cupcake and after a web search, stumbled on this one. It was a BIG hit! I've made these so many times and am thinking of making them for my two year old's birthday. The only modification I made was to reduce the sugar in the glaze (1.5 cups seemed a little too sweet for me). The original recipe and post can be found on Kitchen Chick's blog.

Pomegranate Tea Cakes with Lime Glaze
Yield: 12 regular cakes with 12 mini cakes (depending on how you fill it)


  • 1.5 C all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 3/4 C pomegranate juice (divided into 1/2 and 1/4 cup portions)
  • 4 tsp grated lime peel (divided into two 2 tsp portions)
  • 1/2 C thick yogurt
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Beat sugar and butter with mixer until well blended. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in 1/2 cup pomegranate juice and 2 tsp lime peel. Mixture may appear curdled. Beat flour mixture in until it is just blended. Stir in yogurt.
  4. Drop batter into muffin pans. I used an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin pans about 1/2 way. Bake until tester comes out clean. ~25 minutes, possibly longer.
  5. Let cool for 15 minutes or so. After cooling, use a toothpick to poke small holes into the top of the teacakes to allow the glaze to seep in.
  6. Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, vanilla, and 2 tsp lime peel.
  7. You can either remove the cooled teacakes from the pan or leave them in the pan. Pour glaze over each tea cake until top is covered and glaze drips down the sides. (The glaze does it make it sticky so I chose to leave them in the pan to add the glaze.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Happy New Year!! Another wonderful year full of good eating begins. It has been made even more wonderful by the addition of a new gadget to my kitchen...a garlic press! Oh how it delights. But the adventures of the garlic press are for another post.

This post is about a simple salad you can make a day ahead and enjoy the entire week. I've made it for gatherings and it is always a hit. I cheated the last time and used a Bird's Eye Frozen black bean, corn, and pepper mix. Hey, I had a lot going on and it was an easy way to go. It worked so well, that I'll use it again! I found the recipe courtesy of

Corn & Black Bean Salad
Makes: 6 servings

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn, cooked for 2 minutes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2–1 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Toss everything together. Serve cold or at room temperature. It actually is better the next day.