Friday, December 2, 2011

Garlic Kulcha

For a long time, I wanted to experiment making different "breads" from India.  I love onion kulchas from Punjabi restaurants and thought I would try this one when I saw it.  Although not as greasy as the restaurants, still very yummy.

Garlic Kulchas
adapted from Chef in You

  • 3 cups multi grain flour (I used Sujata)
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed (or other) oil
  • 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • water
  1. Put all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Add the wet ingredients (except the water) to the dry ingredients and turn on mixer on low. Add a little water at a time until dough forms. Knead until it is smooth.  Cover and let rest for 1-2 hours. (I let mine sit for 3 hours).
  3. Heat a cast iron or other skillet over medium heat.  Roll out dough on a floured surface as it may stick.  Put on hot skillet to cook and it will puff up.  Cook both sides and enjoy with your favorite dal, shaak/sabji or just plain.

Chipotle Hummus & Tahini

This year's Thanksgiving feast for the veggie lovers was a Mediterranean delight with falafels served with cilantro hummus, chipotle hummus and homemade tahini sauce.  Here are the recipes for the chipotle hummus and tahini sauce.  I used my vitamix for the tahini sauce and it turned out excellent.

Chipotle Hummus
adapted from lizmari


  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans 
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup oil (grapeseed or olive) 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic 
  • 4 whole chipotle chilies in adobe sauce (take seeds out) (use more if you want it spicier)
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies
shopping list
  • Directions:
  1. Drain garbanzo beans and wash.  Add garbanzo beans and all other ingredients to a food processor.  Puree until smooth.  You may need to add more oil or lime/lemon juice to your taste.
  2. The four chilies will make this mild.  Add more chilies plus some of the seeds to make it spicier.
  3. Enjoy with pita chips.
adapted from epicurious

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (optional)
  1. Soak sesame seeds in 1/4 cup water for 30 minutes.  Add this to blender and blend until paste formed.  Add remaining ingredients and adjust according to taste.
  2. Note: the addition of cilantro and parsley will turn your tahini green!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Starfish Crackers

I love, love cheese crackers.  Especially goldfish crackers! It is no wonder that the kid loves them too.  However, looking at the long ingredient list from these goodies turns me off.  Thanks to the Smitten Kitchen, I found a way to make them at home.  The result, addicting! Now I had to buy car cookie cutters because the star shaped was rejected by the kid.

Starfish Crackers
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup multi grain flour (I used Sujata)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Add all the ingredients in a food processor until the dough forms (takes approximately 2 minutes).
  2. Roll out dough or chill to roll out later.  If you chill longer than 30-45 minutes, let it come somewhat to room temperature.  (I let mine chill too long and it began to crack as I rolled it out.)  Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick and cut shapes using a cookie cutter.  I used a star shape as that was what I had on hand. 
  3. Transfer the crackers to a cookie sheet leaving about 1/2 inch between them.  Bake on middle rack for 12-15 minutes or until they begin to turn brown.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Gavar shaak (Saucy cluster beans)

I happen to love gavar (aka cluster beans). I realize not everyone does, but thankfully my kid does! This gives me an excuse to make it when it's available at the farmers market.  And its available now until November!

Gavar shaak
Serves 2-3

  • 1/2 lb gavar (when cut up, approx 2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons besan (chickpea flour)
  • 2 Tablespoons of yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ajwain
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (haldi, harder)
  • 1-1 1/2 cup water
  • chili powder to taste
  • salt to taste


  1. Cut and wash gavar. Set aside.
  2. Mix the besan, yogurt, turmeric,chili powder (if using) and salt together. Make sure there are no lumps. I typically use a wire whisk. Add the water and mix thoroughly.
  3. Heat pressure cooker with oil and add ajwain seeds over medium heat. When seeds sizzle and turn brown, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the besan mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes. If water evaporates too quickly, add a little more.
  4. Add gavar and mix together. Put lid on and cook for 7-8 minutes (without whistles) or for 3-4 whistles. The gavar should be softer but not mushy.  Enjoy with rice, khichadi or roti.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

I am constantly in search of a healthy baked goodies to try out on my colleagues at work.  These fit the bill nicely as the other recipe I wanted to try required ripe bananas.  They were a hit and my friend said they were the best yet! Next time, I would modify this somewhat to add cinnamon and dry ginger powder.  They are good that you forget that they're healthy! I highly encourage you to check out Heidi's blog, she has some GREAT recipes!!

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies
Modified From Heidi Swanson
Makes 2.5 dozen

  • 1 cup multi grain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Coach's cut oats (from Costco)
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil (didn't have coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper. I used a baking sheet and a stone to bake my cookies (don't line the stone).
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and oats in a bowl. (I used my stand mixer bowl.)  Add the nuts and carrots.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the oil, maple syrup and ginger.  Add this to the dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.
  4. Drop onto the baking sheet and/or stone.  I used a tablespoon and flattened some (if you want them crispy) and left some as mounds (to have them softer).  Bake on the top part of your oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are slightly browned on the top and bottom.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cilanto-Lime Vinaigrette

Here is a tasty and healthy dressing I came across and love!  It works great on many different salads. 

Cilantro-lime Vinaigrette

  •  3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, more to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Mix above and adjust according to taste.  Pour over salad and enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Veggie Paella

I never thought I would like paella...mainly because it is almost always made with seafood. Then I went to Cascal and had an amazing paella! That set me on a mission to recreate the paella. After a few missteps and tries, here is the recipe that comes the closest to their paella.  The next modification will be to make the romesco sauce that is added at the end.  That will make this closer to the Cascal version.
Just a note about the recipe, I've used the vegetables I like.  You can vary this recipe and use many different vegetables.  I've varied it many times using kale, spinach, and broccoli.

Veggie Paella
Serves 4-6 people


  • 2 cups rice (I used basmati)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves (or more depending on your taste)
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 4 medium tomatoes or 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups artichoke hearts (used frozen)
  • 2 cups zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 large bunch cilantro + 1/2 cup parsley, blended with 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • salt to taste

  1. Warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute.  Add garlic and rice and saute for 3 minutes.
  2. Add zucchini and artichokes and cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and stir for a few minutes. Add veggie broth, and cilantro/parsley mixture and bring to a boil. Add the garbanzo beans, peas, bell pepper and salt. 
  3. Cook until the rice is done. This may take 15-20 minutes.

Chai Cupcakes...Eggless!

I made these Chai Cupcakes for a chaat and cupcake get together.  I wanted to make a cupcake that would complement all the yummy chaat (aka Indian snacks).  I came across this recipe from Love & Olive Oil site and modified it after finding another recipe. (I didn't want to use soymilk...)


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons loose black tea or tea bags
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of chai masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 cup confectioner sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Heat milk and add chai.  Boil and take off the stove.  Let sit for 10 min to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, yogurt, sugar, vanilla and tea mixture until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and masala.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until lumps gone.  Fill in cupcake pans and bake until toothpick comes clean. (~20-22 minutes).
  6. Once the cupcakes are cooled, sift sugar over cooled cupcakes. (Make sure the cupcakes are thoroughly cooled or the sugar will just melt!)

Simple Sorbet

This is by far the EASIEST recipe I've ever tried and one of the tastiest.  This is a great way to make a tasty summer time treat! I got this receipe from Prevention magazine and modified it very slightly by replacing the sugar with honey.

Simple Sorbet
Adapted from Prevention Magazine

  • 1 lb frozen strawberries, mango or your favorite fruit*
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (the full fat version works well)
  • honey (to taste)
  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor (or a Vita Mix if you have it) and puree until creamy.  If the fruit doesn't blend, add a little bit of water.  You can eat immediately or freeze it. I've put this into Popsicle molds and it has been a hit!
*Note: You can take fresh fruit, clean and freeze to use for this recipe.  I did that and it worked just as well.

Batata Harra (Lebanese Potatoes with Cilantro)

I fell in love with these potatoes at Open Sesame in Long Beach.  They were so tasty that I set out to find the recipe.  I didn't have to look too hard as the NY Times had it posted! I modified the recipe as I do not like frying.  The original recipe calls for russet potatoes, but have made these with different varieties of potatoes and they turn out great.

Batata Harra
Adapted from NY Times

  • 4 potatoes
  • 3-4 tablespoons of oil (use any kind you like)
  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 3/4 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional, I left it out)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley (optional, but tasty)
  1. Cut potatoes into cubes. (You can peel them or leave the peel on).  Place them in a microwave safe bowl/dish with 1 tablespoon of oil.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 5-7 minutes to par cook.
  2. Heat a pan on medium-low with 2 tablespoons of oil.  Add garlic and cover.  Cook for ~3 minutes, but be careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the cilantro and wilt it for ~1-2 minutes.  Remove sauce from pan and set aside.
  3. Heat a pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. (This works really well in non-stick pans to avoid messy clean-up).  Add the potatoes from the microwave.  Do not stir! Let them cook for a few minutes until brown and then flip using a spatula.  Continue cooking on all sides until browned.
  4. Once the potatoes are cooked, take out into dish.  Add the cilantro-garlic sauce, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne (if using), and salt and toss. Enjoy warm.