Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Roasted red pepper hummus

My family enjoys Roasted Red Pepper hummus with baked pita chips or in wraps with pita,tahini,falafel (my style) or just as a dip for crackers or baby carrots.

1 16oz. can Chickpeas
½ cup plain yogurt(low-fat,non fat or whole)
1 tbsp Tahini (recipe follows)
3 fat cloves of garlic
1 large red pepper
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
Salt to taste


What you need to do:

          Roasting the pepper
  • Wash and pat dry the red pepper. Scrape off the sticker if any.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 Deg F and arrange the pepper on a cookie sheet lined with an aluminum foil.
  • Let the pepper roast turning every 15 mins until done, about 25-30 mins.
  •  I throw in the 3 cloves of garlic with the skin on and wrap them in an aluminum foil, along with the pepper to roast. But roasting garlic is optional.
  • After the pepper is done, drop it in either in a bowl and cover the bowl with a cling wrap or drop it in a zip lock bag.
  • Let it rest for 20 mins.
  • Resting helps to peel off the skin easily.
  • Remove the pepper on a cutting board ,peel off the black skin .Remove the stem and the seeds and discard.At this stage,if you have roasted few extra peppers,store them immersed in olive oil and refrigerate.
  • Roughly chop the pepper.I like to reserve a tsp of this chopped pepper for garnishing.
  • Remove the garlic from the skin.If you have roasted it,you will have nice melted roasted garlic.
         Ready for a delicious dip
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  • Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor/blender until combined.
  • Garnish with the reserved chopped pepper and serve as a dip.

  • Make sure the yogurt is not sour or else it will overpower the taste of pepper.
Tahini recipe

·         Dry roast ½ cup white sesame seeds in a skillet on medium low heat until light brown.
·         Let the seeds cool completely.
·         Blend the seeds along with 1/8 tsp salt and 2 tbsp olive oil to a smooth paste.Do not add water.You will need to scrape the bowl of the food processor/blender a couple of time to get it to a smooth paste.
·         Store in an airtight jar and refrigerate until used.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rice Krispie Chivda


5 cups rice Krispie Cereals

1/2 cup raw peanuts

10-12 curry leaves

2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida

2 tbsp broken cashews (optional)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/8 tsp amchur powder

1/2 tsp freshly ground coriander-cumin powder

1 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or adjust to taste)

2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp oil

salt to taste

What you need to do:

  • In a heavy bottom pan heat 1 tbsp oil till hot.Turn the heat to low,add the peanuts and cashews and fry till light golden.Drain and remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Add the remaining oil.When hot add asafoetida and mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and fry for 30 secs.
  • Add turmeric,chilli powder,amchur powder,coriander-cumin powder and fry for a min.
  • Add the sal.Mix and switch off the heat.
  • Drop in the rice krispies,peanuts,cashews and sugar and mix well till all the spices coat each grain of rice krispie.
  • When cooled store in an airtight container.
  • Add 2 tbsp of golden raisins for a nice sweet bite.Just toss the raisins in oil before you fry the peanuts and cashews for 10 secs,remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Add 1 tsp of chopped garlic to the oil along with the curry leaves.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pillow Soft Indian Pav


3 Cups Bread Flour +about  1/2 cup for dusting (I used King Arthur)

1 pack dry yeast,about 2 1/4 tsp (I used Red star Quick rise instant dry yeast)

2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

.3 tbsp oil

1 1/2 cup warm water

1/4 cup water at room temperature

Cooking oil spray

2 tbsp sesame seeds(optional)

What you need to do

  • Place 1/4 cup room temperature water in a microwave safe bowl and warm it for 10 secs.
  • Stir in 1 pack yeast and sugar.Mix well and set aside for 15 mins.
  • At this stage,the yeast mixture should be really frothy,if not the temperature of water is not right for yeast.Start over again.
  • In a large bowl, mix 3 cups bread flour and salt.
  • Make a small well at the center of this dry mix.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil to the yeast mixture and mix
  • Drop the yeast mixture in the well of dry mix.
  • Use warm water little at a time to form a sticky dough.Do not use too much water.You will need about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water depending on the flour quality.
  • Spread some flour on a clean surface and transfer the dough on it.
  • Start kneading it.Use the flour reserved for dusting ,as needed, if the dough sticks to the surface.
  • The more you knead the dough the better the texture of the bread.
  • At the point the dough turns into a non sticky soft ball,smear the remaining tbsp of oil all over it and knead for another 5 mins.
  • Grease a large bowl with cooking spray.Place the dough bowl , cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside for 2 hour in a warm place.

  • Grease a baking tray,divide the dough into 15 small balls and place them on the baking tray 1' apart.If there is too much space between two balls the pav will turn flat.

  • Cover this tray with a damp kitchen towel and set aside for an hour.
  • By now all the pav must have swelled and formed a pattern like ladi.Lightly spray the balls with cooking spray and sprinkle their tops with sesame seeds(optional).
  • Preheat the oven for 10 mins at 375 deg F.Place the tray on the center rack of oven and bake the balls  for 20-25 mins until their tops have browned.I have a electric oven and mine took exactly 20 mins.
  • Remove from the oven,spray them again with cooking spray,lightly cover the tray with aluminium foil or a clean kitchen towel and set aside for 5 mins.

  • Yummy soft pav are ready to be served with pav bhaji,misal or bhurji.

  • Divide the dough into 12 balls for bigger sized pav for sandwiches.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sweet Cinnamon Couscous

A great way to serve couscous to your kids.Quick and easy one pot dish.Ready to be served under 15 mins.


2/3 C Couscous

2 tbsp white/brown sugar (or adjust to taste)

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp silvered almonds

1 tsp unsalted butter/clarified butter

1/8 C  mixture of nuts and dry fruits of your choice.(optional)

1 1/8 C Water

What you need to do

  • Place the water,sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring it to boil.If you would like to add nuts and dry fruits,add them to the water before it come to a boil.
  • Drop in the couscous and butter.
  • Mix well and remove the saucepan off the heat.
  • Cover and let it rest for 5-10 minutes so that all the water get absorbed by the couscous.
  • Lightly fluff it with a fork.Garnish with almonds and serve.


  • Replace water with orange juice and cinnamon with orange zest for a yummy orange flavored couscous.

Makes 2 servings.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Easy Eggless Checkerboard Cookies


For the white dough

3/4 cup unbleached All purpose flour

1/4 cup+1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)

1/8 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp vanilla

For the brown dough

3/4 cup unbleached All purpose flour

1/4 cup+1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter(at room temperature)

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 tsp vanilla

What you need to do:

For the white dough
  • Sift the flour and the baking soda twice.
  • In a bowl,cream the butter and sugar until smooth.Add in the vanilla and mix well.
  • Add in the flour in a small quantity at a time mixing slowly to form a smooth dough ball.
  • If you are unable to form the mixture into a ball,add in a little more butter.
  • Once the mixture forms a nice smooth ball,wrap it in a plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for   half an hour.
For the brown dough
  • Sift the flour,baking soda and cocoa together twice.
  • In a bowl,cream the butter and sugar until smooth.Add in the vanilla and mix well.
  • Add in the flour and cocoa mixture in a small quantity at a time  mixing slowly to form a smooth dough ball.
  • If you are unable to form the mixture into a ball,add in a little more butter.
  • Once the mixture forms a nice smooth ball,wrap it in a plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for   half an hour.
  • After 30 mins,roll each dough into a rectangle about 1/4  inch thick.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 deg F for 10 mins. 
  • Place the rectangles such that their shorter side faces you.
  • Cut in long strips vertically,about 1 1/2 cm apart.
  • Now arrange the strips alternately i.e. a white then a brown then a white so on.
  • Cut this colorful rectangle horizontally  1 1/2 cm apart to form squares of different colors.
  • Join and place the squares with different(contrast) colors on a lightly greased baking dish. 
  • Bake for 12-15 mins.
  • When cooled remove from the baking sheet and store in a air tight container.
Makes: 24 cookies

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mango Delight:Amrakhand

The first Holy festival which marks the beginning of the New Year, new month and new day for the Hindus falls on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. It is known as Gudi Padwa (in Maharashtra), Ugadi (in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh). Baisakhi (Punjab), & Cheti Chand (Sindhi). On this very day Lord Brahma created the Universe. Therefore for Hindus, this day carries special importance. In Maharashtra,the day is celebrated with an auspicious bath, followed by decorating the doorway with a 'toran', performing ritualistic worship and hoisting the Gudi.A neivedyam of shrikhand ,poori,boiled potato sabzi and dal rice is offered to God.

So today on this occasion I am preparing amrakhand.Amrakhand as the name suggest  is a mango flavored shrikhand.


8 oz Greek yogurt (low fat or full fat)

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar

1 ripe medium size mango,cubed

1/4 tsp cardamom powder/elaichi

1 tbsp each sliced almonds and sliced pistachios

What you need to do:
  • Puree the chopped mango into a smooth paste.Make sure there are no lumps.
  • In a medium size bowl add the yogurt,mango puree & sugar and mix till combined.
  • Now add in the aromatic cardamom powder and fold gently.
  • Pour it in a airtight container.Garnish the top layer with the nuts.
  • Cover and refrigerate until served.
Makes 2 servings.
    • The traditional method needs yogurt to be tied in a muslin cloth until there is no moisture left to form a chakka.Greek yogurt is a perfect replacement for this lengthy process.
    • Greek yogurt can be replaced by sour cream but the end result is not that good.
    • Alphanso mango is best for this recipe.You can replace the mango puree (1/4 cup) with Alphanso mango pulp available at indian stores,just make sure you reduce the amount of sugar.
    • The color and the sweetness depends on the quality of mango.I used a Ataulfo Mexican mango.It was not too sweet and pale orange in color.Adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference.
    • This is a make a day ahead dish.Will taste best the next day..