Friday, September 29, 2017

Delicata Squash – They’re Not Just for Decorating Anymore

I always look forward to seeing delicata squash appear in the Fall, but with that comes a certain amount of frustration, since I’m pretty sure there are plenty of shoppers who walk right past it, thinking it’s some sort of decorative gourd. They do look like those ornamental cornucopia fillers, which is why I’ve been tempted to walk up to people at the market, who I’ve seen look at these, but not put in their basket, and tell them what a big mistake they’re making. Of course I haven't, since that’s just not done.

The point is, not only would these dress up any holiday table, but they're also absolutely delicious, uniquely textured, and easy to prepare; as long as you don’t cut off a finger. Much like our friend the butternut squash, these are very hard, and you have to be extremely careful when cutting. I think the technique shown herein is a pretty safe way to go, since your fingers are well away from the blade.

Once prepped, season to your liking, with salt and oil being the only mandatory ingredients, and then roast in a hot oven, until tender, and as caramelized as you like. I usually don’t flip halfway through, since I’d rather have one really crusty side, than two sort of crusty sides. Once baked, these can be served hot as a side dish, room temperature as a snack, or cold in a salad. Regardless of how you enjoy them, I hope you give these roasted delicata squash a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 portions:
1 large delicata squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
cayenne pepper to taste
- Roast at 450 F., for about 12 to 18 minutes, depending on how thick your slices are.
-- My “Pumpkin Spice Aioli” was mayonnaise, seasoned with garam masala, turmeric, and hot paprika to taste.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Pulusu is an authentic curry from Andhra Pradesh . It is made with a variety of vegetables in the tangy tamarind gravy with the addition of spices for flavouring. Bendakaya means bhindi in Telugu. Here is the recipe of tangy bhindi curry. It goes well with plain rice.
This month in our group,"Shhhh Cooking Secretly" I am paired with Sujata Roy. I made this curry with the 2 ingredients

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cider Braised Pork Shoulder – And by “Braised,” We Probably Mean Stewed

If you watched our recent spaetzle video, you saw me serve up a nice hunk of cider braised pork shoulder, during which I wondered out loud if we’d done that video yet. Turns out that we hadn’t, so as promised, here you go.

As the title may indicate, this isn’t technically a braised dish, since the meat is pretty much covered with cooking liquid, but whenever I have to choose between alliteration, and accuracy, I predominantly pick the former.

I kept things very simple here, so feel free to add extras like carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and other fall veggies, if you like. There’s really no way to screw up a dish like this. Unless, of course, you stop cooking it before it’s done. I’ll never understand recipe reviewers complaining that the meat in a dish like this, never got tender.

Tough meat always gets tender, if you cook it long enough. Always. The problem is, people go by the times given, which may or may not be long enough. No matter what a recipe says, always continue cooking until it’s fork tender, and can be easily broken apart.  So, with that in mind, whether you’re topping spaetzle or not, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for four portions:
3 to 3 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut in 3 to 4-inch chunks
Enough Kosher salt to season pork generously
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or rendered pork fat
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly torn sage leaves
1 bottle (750 mil) hard cider, or regular cider, or apple juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup crème fraiche, or heavy cream
pinch cayenne
crème fraiche and chives to garnish

Today’s Video Delayed Due to Wisdom

Tooth, that is. I have a cracked wisdom tooth that needs some attention, and so I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be able to finish the voice over for today’s recipe. I ended up filming the cider-braised pork you may have seen in the spaetzle video, and look forward to posting it soon. Stay tuned!


Monday, September 25, 2017


Try out this vibrant and healthy bowl of soup made with beetroot and apple.  It is flavoured with a mustard seeds and curry leaf tempering which adds to the taste. In this recipe we are using coconut milk instead of cream. You will really love the taste of this soup.

I saw this in the TV show "Turban Tadka" on Food Food Channel. 

Recipe credits - Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Consuming methi (fenugreek) everyday in some form or the other is really beneficial for healthy living specially for diabetics. You can make these methi sprouts easily at home. make a salad, raita or just add them to your curries everyday.

Methi sprouts ... 1/2 cup
Cucumber ........ 1/2 cup (diced)
Capsicum ........ 1/4 cup (diced)
Tomato ............ 1/4 cup (diced after

Friday, September 22, 2017


Quick and easy dips are a boon when we have unexpected visitors. Mango mustard dip is one such dish that can be easily prepared in summer since we always have mangoes at home. You can serve this dip with cucumbers, carrots, radish or some chips.  I have served with home made baked pita chips.
The other ingredients used in this dipping sauce are also basic ones like mayonnaise, mustard sauce

How to Make Spätzle (aka Spaetzle) – Little Sparrows for Big Meat

Apparently “Spätzle” translates to “little sparrows” in German, which makes a lot of sense when you consider their shape. What doesn’t make sense is why these micro-dumplings are also called “spaetzle.” Is it an alternate spelling? A different recipe? I’m hoping maybe some of our German foodwishers can clear this up.

Since my favorite German restaurant calls this stuff spätzle, that’s what I went with, and they are as easy to make, as they are hard to correctly pronounce. You only need a few ingredients, all of which you generally have on hand at all times, and they take just minutes to cook.

Once boiled, you can toss in butter like I did, or sauce them any way you’d sauce similarly shaped pasta. While wonderful served as-is, they make the perfect side dish to any large hunk of slowly braised meat. I paired mine with a pork shoulder stewed in hard cider, and it was amazing.

I thought I’d posted a video for that, but it was actually a cider-braised pork cheeks recipe I was thinking of, which would work perfectly here. So, I may have to do a braised pork shoulder after all. In the meantime, I’m sure you’ll have little trouble figuring out what to serve yours with, and I really do hope you give this Spätzle recipe a try soon. Enjoy!

Makes 2 portions:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more to adjust
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon cream fraiche, sour cream, or yogurt
3 tablespoons milk

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Try out these honey ginger flavoured kulfis... a delicious and healthy treat in summer.

Condensed milk ... 250 ml
Whipped cream ... 250 ml (I used malai blended with little milk)
Milk powder ........ 1 cup (use full cream like Amulya or Nestle)
Honey ................ 3 tbsps
Ginger juice ...... 3 tbsps
Almond powder .. 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder .. 1/4 tsp
Powdered pistachios ..

Monday, September 18, 2017

Almond Biscotti – Because Winter is Coming

This biscotti video is another installment in our long-running series, “Recipes I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Posted Yet.” But, while I took my sweet time recording this classic Italian dipping cookie, at least I picked a good time to finally feature it, since winter is coming, and with it, plenty of cookie-appropriate occasions.

I decided to go with a very straightforward version, since that’s my personal favorite, but that doesn’t mean you can’t jazz these up in any number of ways.  Different nuts, like hazelnut and/or pistachio work beautifully in these, as does any type of dried fruit. And of course, dipping these in dark chocolate is never a bad idea.

By the way, don’t let that cup of sugar fool you. These are not particularly sweet cookies, and there’s a good reason for that. Traditionally, these are served to dip into sweet dessert wines, like Vin Santo, which is why we don’t want them too sugary to begin with. That’s also the reason why we really do want these crunchy all the way through.

I was pretty noncommittal with the cooking time once these are sliced and put back in the oven, since depending on the size and shape, your baking times will vary greatly. The best plan is to keep peaking at them once they get close, and wait for that perfect golden brown. So, with my apologies for bringing up the holidays so early, I’ll finish by saying I really do hope you give these almond biscotti a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 28-30 cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt (1/2 teaspoon kosher)
3 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup roasted whole almonds
1/2 cup roasted chopped almonds
- Bake loaves at 350 F., let cool 15 minutes before slicing, and then finish at 325 F. until golden brown, and crunchy


Thepla is a Gujarati flatbread made with wheat flour, fenugreek (methi) leaves and some spices for flavouring. The dough is kneaded with yogurt. Apart from methi you can also use some grated vegetables like doodhi, mooli palak for a change. You can serve them with some pickle or chunda for breakfast or even during lunch with some vegetables. Theplas are very healthy and can stay good in the

Saturday, September 16, 2017


I like trying out traditional dishes from various regions. I specially love the non-veg curries from the Southern Coastal regions. Most of them are coconut based and spicy and can be served with rice, akki rotis, dosas and appams.
Here is a Konkan style mutton curry. My version is milder. You can increase the spice level as per your liking.

Mutton ...... 500 gms (with bones)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Crispy Basket Burritos – For Once, Oven-Baked is Better Than Fried

I worked at a Mexican restaurant while in college, and one of my least favorite tasks was frying the flour tortilla bowls. You had to hold the two parts of the basket that formed them together while they fried, all the while getting splattered by hot fat, and breathing grease vapors. It wasn’t fun, but they did come out nice and crispy, so to everyone else involved, it was totally worth it.

Here, we’re using the oven to achieve what I consider a superior product. They’re just as beautiful, and crispy as the ones from the deep fryer, but seem to be much less greasy. Not to mention, the mess is significantly less. I’ll trade those things for a few extra minutes production time any day.

Just be careful not to burn them trying to get the inside bottom crispy. Since that area is protected from the sides, it’s not going to get as browned, but it doesn’t have to. As soon as this is filled, no one will know the difference. Speaking of filling, deciding that is probably the hardest part of this whole operation, but I’m confident you’ll come up with something worthy. I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 Crispy Basket Burrito Shells (aka Tortilla Bowls, or Tostada Shells):
2 flour tortillas (about 8 inches in diameter)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
oven safe ramekin, about 4 inches in diameter

Thursday, September 14, 2017


One more mango dish of the season... maybe the last one as the mango season has come to an end.
I tried out sweet boondi adding mango puree to the gram flour. It turned out perfect. We usually make sweet boondi as prashad during festive days and sometimes the fine variety of  namkeen sev is mixed together with the boondi to balance the taste.

Gram flour/ besan .... 3 tbsps

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Sambharo is a Gujarati warm and crunchy stir-fried salad served as an accompaniment with the meals or with snacks like fafda, papdi and dhoklas.  It is made with grated or finely diced vegetables like cabbage, carrot, beetroot, raw papaya and radish either separately or combined together. A simple tempering of mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves is added along with finely chopped green

Monday, September 11, 2017

Chicken Tinga – Torn Between Two Lovers

Whenever I’m ordering something with chicken at a taqueria, I’m always presented with the same three choices. The grilled chicken, the green chicken, which is cooked in a tomatillo sauce, and the red chicken, also know as chicken tinga.

I usually forgo the grilled option, since whatever I’m ordering almost always benefits from sauce; which leaves me with the nearly impossible decision of choosing between the red and the green. I love both, so I’m always torn. By the way, in Mexican culinary lingo, tinga means, “torn.”

Anyway, now that the title makes sense, I can finish this post up by reiterating how great this came out. There are faster methods to make this, but taking the extra time to reduce the cooking liquid, as well as possibly the sauce, really pays off in the end.

The real challenge here is deciding how to use it. You can’t go wrong with tacos, but my favorite delivery system is tostados. Fry up a corn or flour tortilla nice and crisp; top with tinga, and garnish with the usual suspects. It doesn’t get any better than that…unless the tortilla is shaped into a bowl, which I’ll show you how to do quickly, and mess-free, in the next video. Until then, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 large portions:
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 cloves peeled whole garlic cloves
1 large yellow onion, halved
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 can (7-oz) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 can (28-oz) peeled plum tomatoes (I recommend using San Marzano) or 3 1/2 cups of any fresh or canned tomato product
2 tablespoons olive oil or reserved chicken fat
1 large onion, diced
Cotija cheese and cilantro to garnish


Seedai is a Naivedyam dish made on Krishna Janmashtami in Tamilnadu as an offering to Lord Krishna. They are tiny marble sized balls made out of rice flour along with other ingredients and deep fried. Seedai can be made sweet or savoury. The sweet version is made with jaggery or sugar. I have tried making them with honey.

Rice flour ..... 1 cup
Maida / all purpose flour ...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Chorizo Fundido, Completo

If too much sausage in a cheese dip was the biggest problem you have during a workweek, you have to consider that to be a pretty great week. They say, less is more, but I was hoping that twice the amount of chorizo in this fundido would make it twice as good, but that wasn’t really the case.

The taste was great, and as I said in the video, I highly doubt anyone at your party would complain, but what I really wanted was an ooey, gooey, much drippier dip, and so in this case, less would have been more.

Below, I’ve listed the amounts as I think they should be, with what I actually used in parentheses, and I’ll leave it up to you, to adjust as you see fit. Besides the sausage amount, I think adding some sour cream may also help the cause. Are you ready for some football? I am, but even if you’re not going to serve this chorizo fundido to a bunch of screaming lunatics on game day, I still hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 8 portions Chorizo Fundido:
8 ounces fresh pork chorizo (I used 1 pound)
1/2 cup sliced green onions, the light parts
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 poblano chilies, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
4 ounces cream cheese (I used 8 oz)
4 ounces sharp cheddar
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup sour cream (I think it may help give a creamier texture)


Mango is my favourite fruit and I can never stop trying out more and more recipes each season. Here is a variation of the traditional Hyderabadi dessert, Shahi Tukda. I had some home made malai, which combined with mango pulp made an excellent topping.

Here goes the recipe.


Bread slices ..... 4

Mango pulp .... 1 cup

Malai / home made cream .. 1/2 cup

Cardamom powder ....

Monday, September 4, 2017


Kundapur is located in Udipi district of Karnataka. This city is known for it's beautiful architecture, ancient temples, scenic beaches and above all it's cuisine especially non vegetarian dishes.
Kundapur chicken curry is a very hot dish prepared with freshly home made masala using Byadgi chillies along with other spices. Byadgi chillies are grown in the town of Byadgi in Karnataka. They

Friday, September 1, 2017


Mojito is my favourite drink. You can make this is various flavours but nothing can beat the mango flavour which is my favourite.. We can enjoy the non-alcoholic virgin mojito in summer, a refreshing drink to beat the scorching heat. It just requires few ingredients and so easy to make.

Mango juice .... 1 cup
Fresh mint leaves .. handful
Ginger ............. 1 inch piece (