Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mushroom Stew and New Beginings

As I was getting ready to prepare this dish I was in for a surprise! I had plucked a sprig of curry leaves from my plant and was ripping of the leaves. I wondered why it was difficult to rip it off this time, since it usually very easily done. On taking a closer look I realised there was a pupa attached to the sprig! Am I glad I didnt stew it! Now I know why my curry leaves were looking eaten off. My little boy has a special nesting box for all the caterpillars and pupa we find on my plants. He was as usual delighted at this find and is waiting eagerly to see it become a butterfly. He takes a look at his box the first thing every morning and if there is a caterpillar checks every 10 minutes to make sure the caterpillar is eating well or done its poop!

As Joel looks forward to see his cocoon metamorphasise into a beautiful butterfly, I look foward to new beginings this new year. I wish all my readers, friends, foodie friends and relatives a year of new beginings. Some of you are newly married, some going to wed, some pregnant with new life within you, some at the begining of a new venture, some anxious about what the year has in store for you, some just waiting to break out from your cocoon. This post comes with special wishes for all the new beginings in your life this year. May this year bring you the fulfillment of the deepest longings of your heart!

For those of you who would like to introduce your kids to the life cycle of a butterfly, I found this cute site, check it out

Mushroom Stew

200 gms button mushrooms
1 onion sliced
5 cloves of garlic chopped
1green chilli
1sprig of curry leaf
1/2tsp mustard seeds
3 cloves
1small stick of cinnamom
2 cardamoms
ground coriander
1tsbs coconut milk
5tbs coconut milk powder(used for gravies)
1tbs wheat flour
1 1/2 cups water
salt to taste
  • Heat the water and add the coconut milk powder and stir well and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add the whole spices and stir till you get the aroma.
  • Saute onions, green chilli, curry leaves and garlic. Add ground coriander and stir.
  • Add the mushrooms, mix well, cover and cook.
  • Once the mushrooms are cooked add the wheat flour and stir till it is roasted.
  • Add the coconut milk and coconut milk powder mixture, salt and stir well.
  • When all the ingredients are well combined take off the heat.
  • Serve hot with rotis, rice or wholemeal bread.

This green cocoon turned into the most gorgeous Common Mormon Swallowtail! Read all about it in Spinach Burger and the Swallowtail.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fish Cutlets

Fish cutlets is another page from my mom's recipes and a hot favourite in my family through all generations. They are delicious and can be served as starters or snacks or finger foods for babies. They can also be included as part of a school lunch.
They are absolutely unforgettable and have you asking for more.
I have used Indian mackerels, you can use any fleshy fish, preferably with less thorns to save you the trouble.

3 Indian mackerels
1 onion
8-10 cloves of garlic
1 tsp ginger paste
1 potatoes
1 green chilli
1 egg
1/4 tsp ground red chilli
1/2 tsp garam masala
Juice of 1lemon
Fresh coriander chopped fine
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste

For Frying-
Bread crumbs/Rice flour

  • Steam/pressure cook the fish. when cool enough to handle, separate the thorns from the flesh and flake.
  • Boil potatoes, when cool enough to handle, peel and mash.
  • Mince garlic, onion and green chilli.
  • Heat oil in a skillet and saute the minced onion, garlic, chilli and ginger paste.
  • Mix all the ingredients together and combine well.

  • Here's what the mixture will look like. Taste and check for spice levels and salt and hint of sourness.
  • Shape into cutlets and roll in breadcrumbs and press firmly.
  • Heat oil in a skillet for frying and fry the cutlets on both sides till crisp.

  •  Serve hot with sauce.
Have you made fish cutlets? How do you serve them? Do share.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Spiced Fish Fry

Though I have been blogging for almost 5 months now, this is my first fish post. All of us in our family are mad about fish and no one has the patience to wait till I take the pictures. Well you wouldnt blame anyone when the fish looks that good and smells even better!

I have used the Indian mackerel or Rastrelliger kanagurta, our family favourite. I was delighted to find eggs in one of them and managed to extract them intact.

fish eggs
3 large Indian mackerels
1/4tsp ground tumeric
1/4tsp ground red chilli
1/4tsp ground coriander
1tsps ginger-garlic paste
juice of 1/2 lemon
freshly ground pepper
salt to taste

For frying

marinated mackerels
  • Wash clean and pat dry the mackerels.
  • Make diagonal slits on each on both sides.
  • Mix all the marinade ingredients except pepper and apply on the fish. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over the fish on both sides and leave to marinate at least an hour.
  • Roll the fish in semolina and fry crisp in oil on both sides.
  • Serve hot with tartar sauce.
What is your favourite fish that you love to fry? Do share.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bitter Gourd Flatbread/ Karela Paratha

Bitter gourd is a vegetable that is known for its health benefits. However you need to cultivate a taste to enjoy eating it. Thats easier said than done when it comes to kids who naturally prefer chocolates and candies. Bitter gourd is said to be the best kitchen remedy for stomach worms which children are so prone to.

I have attempted to create this recipe with best efforts to retain its nutrients and yet making it palatable for kids. The use of dill which is sweet in taste adds a natural sweetness and aroma to the stuffing. My son readily enjoyed his paratha. Let me know your inputs.

Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd/Karela

Bitter gourd or bitter melon is an excellent source of vitamin A, B1, B2, B3and C. It also contains minerals like magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorous, copper and manganese, and has high dietary fiber. It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.
The medicinal properties of bitter gourd are beneficial in ailments like-

  • blood disorders
  • cholera
  • diabetes mellitus
  • poor stamina levels
  • eye problems
  • hangover
  • poor immunity
  • piles
  • psoriasis
  • respiratory disorders
  • stomach worms and
  • toxemia.
For Stuffing-

1/2 cup grated bitter gourd
1/2 onion minced
5 cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 tbs grated coconut
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 sprigs of fresh dill chopped
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste
For roti
1cup wheat flour

water to mix
pinch of salt

For stuffing
  • Heat oil in a skillet, add the minced garlic and onions. Saute.
  • Add the bitter gourd, grated coconut, ground cumin, mix, cover and cook.
  • Add salt and freshly ground pepper and stir.
  • Take off the heat and add chopped fresh dill and stir. Your stuffing is ready.

For paratha
  • Roll out 2 rotis. Spread the stuffing evenly on one roti.
  • Place the other roti over it and press the edges firmly.
  • Heat the girdle and fry both sides.
  • Top with ghee or butter and serve hot.

Sending this for Bitter better health challenge.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chicken Stew For The Soul

I have not been able to blog recently since my little girl was a wee bit ill. As I kept awake at nights to nurse her to health, I couldn't help reflecting - some of my dear friends ask me "how do you manage two kids when I find it difficult with one?" and I wonder how my mom brought up four of us. And my grandmoms with six and seven kids each. Bearing in mind that they didnt have access to the conveniences and gadgets that I most often take for granted.
My mom is undoubtedly the best cook in our family. Her siblings, in-laws, nephews, nieces, children, grandchildren all love to eat anything prepared by her. We have a custom,- after a wedding in the family the newly wed couple gets invited to each extended family for a meal. A way of welcoming, getting to know and bonding with the new member of the family. By the end of all the visits, the couple put on loads of weight, with the best spreads topped with a lot of love! During these visits all the married members into the family have also become fans of mom's cooking at the first bite.
Mom's Chicken Stew is a served with delicious Palappams (which I promise to post soon). Like most traditional cooks, mom's recipes had no measures. Just a little bit of this and a little bit of that... Before I left home I was determined to record her recipes and managed to do so successfully and most importantly I learnt that the main ingredient was lots of love. I hope someday my kids will also join me in the kitchen, like many of my foodie friends are already doing a good job of it.
A big thank you to Kristy from My Little Space for this award. Will pass it on soon.

Sharing with you mom's Chicken Stew For the Soul.

1kg chicken

For marinade-
  • 1tsp ground tumeric
  • 1tsp ground red chilli
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 3tsps ginger garlic paste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste

some marinated pieces
Mix all the ingredients and marinate for a couple of hours. For best results marinate previous day, place it in a ziplock and freeze overnight. Defreeze it before you are ready to prepare the stew.

For the stew-
  • 1tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1sprig curry leaves
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1cup coconut milk
  • 1/2tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander
whole spices-
  • 1 cinnamon stick broken
  • 5 cardamoms
  • 5 cloves

  • Slice the onions, slit the chillies, cube the potatoes and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker, splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add the whole spices and stir till you begin to get the aroma of the spices.
  • Add sliced onions,curry leaves and green chillies and saute.
  • Stir in the ground coriander and add the marinated chicken. Stir so that the chicken is covered well in the sauteed mixture.
  • Cover and let it cook. When it is half done add the cubed potatoes.
  • When the chicken is almost done add the garam masala,salt and coconut milk and stir.
  • When done put off the heat and garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
  • Have I forgotten the most important ingredient? Stir it with lots of love for the family and friends who will partake of the meal.
  • Serve hot chicken stew with freshly made appams.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chayote Sweet/Halwa

Since chayotes are available in our markets the whole year through I felt I should explore more ways of including it in our diet. Having prepared Chayote Thoran I was keen to try a dessert version of this fruit. Halwa refers to many types of dense, sweet confections, across the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, the Balkans, and the Jewish world. In case you are still unfamiliar with chayote and its nutritional benefits click here.
Needless to add, my attempt was quite a hit at home and I was quite happy with the outcome.
Have you tried preparing Halwa? What is your favourite halwa? Do share.

2 chayotes grated
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups milk
4 cardamoms
2tsps ghee/clarified butter
2tsps evaporated milk/khoya
Crushed cashews/almonds

  • Wash and grate the chayotes. Peel and crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan heat 1tsp ghee, add grated chayote and cook for 5 mins.
  • Add milk, sugar (please adjust according to your levels of sweetness) and khoya. Stir and cook for around 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle cardamom powder, raisins, and crushed nuts. Make sure the milk has evaporated.
  • Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy anyways!
You can also check out Semolina/Suji Halwa

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cottage Cheese in Spinach Curry/Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a popular vegetarian North Indian preparation, specifically originating from the province of Punjab. Palak means spinach in hindi and paneer meaning cottage cheese. If you would like to have a go at home-made cottage cheese, then click here. Palak paneer is a good way to get kids have their spinach. My little girl is so fond of cottage cheese that she will first finish all the cubes up and then she will look at everyone else's plate and ask for their cottage cheese!

How do you like to have cottage cheese? Do share.

1 big bundle spinach leaves

1 large onion

1 large tomato

1 heaped tbs dry fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi

1tbs ginger-garlic paste

1tbs evaporated milk/ Khoya

1/2cup milk
salt to taste
Some oil
Dry spices-
1/2 tsp ground cumin powder

1/2 tsp ground chilli powder

1/4tsp garam masala

For cottage cheese-

200gms cottage cheese


  • Chop off the roots of the spinach and wash clean adding salt. Then chop the spinach.
  • Roughly chop the onions and tomatoes.
  • Cut the cottage cheese into long cubes and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions with the ginger-garlic paste.
  • Add the dry fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi. Enjoy the aroma as you stir in the leaves.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cover the pan and allow to cook.
  • Stir the mixture so that the juices blend.
  • Add the chopped spinach, cover and cook.
  • Once the spinach is done, stir in the evaporated milk.
  • Cool the mixture and puree it. Add milk to lighten it.
  • Heat the pan again with the puree. Add the dry spices and salt to taste. Add milk to get curry consistency.
  • Once the curry begins to bubble add the cubed cottage cheese.
  • Serve hot with rotis, or rice.

Other spinach recipes you might like are-

Spinach Rice

Pasta in Spinach Cream Sauce

Spinach and Lentil/Palak Dal

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chayote with Grated Coconut/Thoran

Chayote (pronounced chai-yo-tay) is a member of the cucumber and squash family which seems to be available in our markets throughout the year. Though it is eaten both in raw or cooked forms, it is actually a fruit. In both forms it is a good source of amino acids and Vitamin C. It is also low in calories, sodium, contains no cholestrol and is a good source of fibre. You can peel it or prepare it with the skin on. The seed is tender and edible as well.

The mild flavour makes it very versatile to be used in a variety of recipes.

The kind of preparation that I have used is with grated coconut and is commonly known as "thoran" in South India. Here's how I prepared it.

2 chayotes
1 onion sliced
5 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of curry leaf
1 green chilli slit
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbs grated coconut


  • Wash clean, and grate the chayote.
  • Slice the onions, chop the garlic fine and slit the chilli.
  • In a pan heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds.
  • Add the curry leaf, onions, garlic and chilli and saute.
  • Add the grated chayote, ground tumeric and salt, mix well. Cover and cook. Do not cook the chayote till soft, there should be minimal cooking to leave the crunchy texture.
  • When done add the grated coconut.
  • Take off the heat and serve warm.
Have you experimented with Chayote? How do you like it? Waiting to hear from you.
You can also check Chayote Sweet/Halwa

Chayote on Foodista

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vermicilli Milk Dessert/Seviyan Kheer/Payasam

Vermicilli Milk Dessert is also known as Seviyan Kheer in India. In South India it is famously known as 'payasam'and is an integral part of a wedding or festival spread which is traditionally served on a banana leaf. It can be used as one of Baby's First Foods, since it is soft and cooked in milk. The condensed milk provides the required sweetness, no addional sugar is required.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vermicilli Upma

Upma is a typically South Indian breakfast preparation. Upma can be prepared with a variety of ingredients. I have already covered Oatmeal Upma. Vermicilli can be fun for kids and at the same time all the veggies included give a headstart in the morning. It's simple to prepare and colourful- orange carrot, green peas, white coconut.. If you do not have grated coconut you can also use finely chopped fresh coriander to garnish.

1 cup roasted vermicilli
1 1/4cup water
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 carrot grated
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 inch ginger

1small green chilli(optional)
1tbs grated coconut
salt to taste

  • If the vermicilli is not roasted, roast it in a tsp of ghee, till its brown.
  • Chop the onion and chilli fine and grate the carrot and keep aside.
  • In a pestle crush the ginger.
  • Heat oil in a pan and sputter the mustard seeds.
  • Add the onion, chilli, and ginger and saute lightly.
  • Add the green peas and grated carrot, cover and cook.
  • After the veggies are cooked add the water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, reduce the flame to simmer and add the vermicilli, stirring all the time.
  • Make sure the vermicilli is cooked and there is no more water left in the pan.
  • Turn off the flame, garnish with grated coconut and serve hot.
  • To enrich it for kids add a tsp of ghee/clarified butter and serve.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Children's Day(India)-Special Guest Post- The Garden of Love

The 14th of November is celebrated as Children's Day in India.
All of this month we have special events, competitions and shows for kids all over the country.
I have a very special guest; my very first guest,- on this occassion. - Mary Moh from Keep Learning Keep Smiling. Though I've known Mary only for a short while, her love for kids and wisdom in parenting issues are noteworthy. She always has a kind an encouraging word for all her fellow bloggers and her blogging story is an inspiration to me.

Do visit her blog and you will find many recipes that are healthy and fun for kids. Some of her recipes that I have on my wish list are Sweet Potato Doughnuts, Lemon Bars, and 9Layered Coffee Rice Pudding and the Thai soups to name a few. I am sure you will enjoy this lovely post so aptly named " The Garden of Love" prepared by Mary in her unique style-She has a way of making the toughest looking recipe so simple.and desirable. With the food she also presents the "food for thought".

Children’s Day Love, Fun And Special (India)

The Garden Of Love

Today is Children’s Day in India. It’s a day to remind us to LOVE children, have FUN with them and tell them they are VERY SPECIAL!

Children Are Very Special

The thought of children always warms my heart. They are very SPECIAL indeed. When I was requested by Shirley to be her guest blogger, I thought it was heaven on earth. That was such an honour and just what clicks in my heart immediately. It brought back lots of sweet memories of my wonderful time with my own children while they were young and also with other children that I taught in church and in school. They have all been such a blessing to me.

The Wonder Of Children

There’s so much beauty in children. Their hearts are so simple. They have great potentials to achieve. They are able to achieve more than what we think or ever imagine. Children have always surprised me by what they think and do. I marvel their humility, sincerity, innocence and intelligence. Adults, especially parents play a vital role in discovering and developing these potentials through consistent nurturing, training and teaching, topped with lots of encouragement and motivation.

Red radishes represent LOVE

The Garden Of Love

One of the best ways to love children is to serve them healthy food. In this post, I want to share a beautiful, healthy recipe to celebrate Children’s Day today. I named this special dish, ‘The Garden of Love’. The life of a child is like a garden that needs to be tended and cared for. Left neglected and weeds soon grow and worms start to eat away the plants. If we don’t make time to invest and make sacrifices for our kids, it’s just a matter of time that they will most likely become a real pain in the neck. But if we spend quality time with them to teach, train and nurture, they will do us very proud one day.

It would be a lot of fun to get children involved in this recipe. The easiest to teach children is when you play and have fun with them. That’s what I did all the time when my children were small. Talk to them about how to have a beautiful life. You can tell them the first step is to obey mommy and daddy.

Here’s ‘The Garden Of Love’ recipe to share:

Ingredients A

250g chicken breast meat (diced small)
2T water
3/4t chicken stock granules
1T corn flour
1 small sweet potato (peeled, cut and steamed)
Peels of 2 red radishes (for garnishing)
Green vegetables (washed and cooked)

Peeled radishes
Peel 2 small, red radishes. Cut the peel into short thin strips for use as decoration.

Minced meat rounds

Put chicken meat, water, chicken stock granules and corn flour into a processor and process until fine. Remove and make into 12 rounds. Flatten them and arrange them on a steaming plate.

Patties with garnishing

Arrange the radish peels on top and steam with high heat for about 6 minutes. Remove and arrange on a plate with the sweet potato rounds in the centre. Arrange green vegetables on the outer edge. I used a very tender, green leafy vegetables called ‘bo chai’ which is a Chinese term. It’s quite like spinach leaves. You can use broccoli too.

Chinese ‘bo chai’
Ingredients B
1/2C water
1/2t chicken stock granules
1t corn flour
dash of turmeric powder

Mix everything together and pour into a small pot. Let it come to a boil. Pour over the patties and serve.

Note: Each step you assemble this lovely dish, you can relate it to life, how you need to take time to build up your life to become a beautiful life.

Do you love food decoration? Do you love cooking or baking with children? What are the common topics that you share with children? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below.

Quote of the day……
“You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way.”
Barbara Bush, former U.S. First Lady

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Roasted Eggplant in Spices/Baingan Bhartha

The eggplant/ aubergine/brinjal is also known as the "king of vegetables".
Roasted Eggplant in Spices/ Baingan Bhartha is a famous, delicious, spicy North Indian eggplant preparation.
For the procedure you can check this video by vah-chef Sanjay Thumma- a very animated chef who enjoys his cooking.
I've toned down the spice to make it comfortably edible for all.

1 eggplant
2 tsps cumin seeds
15 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
1 green chilli

1 large onion
3 tomatoes finely chopped
fresh coriander
salt to taste

Dry spices-
1/2 tsp ground cummin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground tumeric


  • Oil the eggplant, with a fork poke a few holes in the skin and grill it on high for an hour.
  • In a pestle pound the garlic and ginger and keep aside.
  • Chop fine the onion, tomatoes, chilli, and fresh coriander separately and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and sputter cummin seeds.
  • Add the onions and saute, add the garlic, ginger and chopped chilli and saute lightly.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and dry spices, mix well. Cover and let it cook.
  • When the eggplant is ready and cool enough to handle, peel and hack the flesh.
  • Now add it to the cooked spices and add salt.
  • Mix well and garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve hot with phulkas.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spinach Rice

Spinach Rice another delicious and nutritious way to get your kids to eat their spinach. I have used Enriched Spinach Puree again for this dish. I served the rice with poppadams. If your kids are like mine, the poppadams will be over long before they've even started on the rice!!!


1 cup rice
2-3 tbs Enriched spinach puree
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup shelled peas
1 chopped onion chopped
2 tsps ghee/clarified butter
1tbs grated cheddar cheese
5 cloves of garlic chopped
2 small cinnamon sticks
6-8 whole peppercorns
3 cardamoms
salt to taste
1 tsp lemon juice


  • Cook the rice and keep aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed dish heat 1tsp ghee, add the chopped onions and garlic and whole spices and saute till you begin to get the aroma of the spices.
  • Add the peas, and grated carrot and cover and cook.
  • After the veggies are cooked add the cooked rice, and Enriched Spinach Puree, and salt and mix.
  • Switch off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  • Top with grated cheese or ghee and serve hot with poppadams.

You can also check

Pasta in Spinach Cream Sauce

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beetroot Cutlets

Beetroot Cutlets, no surprises that this could be one of the easiest ways to get anyone to eat the beets. If you havent already read the Health Benefits of Beetroot make sure you do.
The chopped onions and coriander add that extra crunch. Beetroot Cutlets can be served as a starter, or in between meals snack or you can make an extra large one and sandwhich it as part of the school lunch.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pasta In Spinach Cream Sauce

As I had promised in my previous post here's a way to use your Enriched Spinach Puree for pasta. Pasta in spinach cream sauce as the name suggests is rich in spinach and cream.
I have used elbow macaroni, do use your child's favourite pasta to make it fun for him/her.

After I had finished preparing it and tasting it, I was quite happy with myself. Now I had to face my jury's verdict. Jury- my 4year old son and 19 months daughter. Joel tasted some and rolled his eyes (while I waited with bated breath) and pronounced "I don't like it". Then came Judith- she winced, but politely gave it a second shot and no more! I thought to myself "Now what do I do?" That's when I remembered tomato sauce! Having added some, I requested Joel to give it one more shot promising not to force him if he didnt like it. To my relief he loved it and complained no more, instead finished the meal quickly. Judith followed suit. Actually I also liked it better with the tomato sauce.

Have you cooked pasta with spinach? Do share.

1tbs olive oil
1 cup elbow macaroni
5 tbs fresh cream
2 tbs enriched spinach puree
1 small onion finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1tsp oregano
salt to taste


  • Boil water, drop in the macaroni when the water is boiling and cook al dente. Drain the pasta, wash in cold water and keep aside. Reserve the water.
  • Chop the garlic and onion fine.
  • Heat oil in a pan add the garlic and onion and saute.
  • Add the fresh cream; stirring till it thickens.
  • Pour in the enriched spinach puree and stir. If you would like the sauce a little lighter add the reserve.
  • Add the salt and oregano seasoning.
  • Finally add the boiled pasta and mix into the spinach cream sauce.
  • Serve with or without tomato sauce according to your family's taste buds.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Enriched Spinach Puree

There are so many ways to prepare Superfood Spinach. Many moms complain that its very difficult to get their kids to eat their spinach! Most kids will eat their veggies as long as its in the invisible mode! You make the dish look appealing and if they cant see the veggie as a chunk that they need to eat, there are more chances of you getting it down. I would like to share with you all that I have tried with this wonderful superfood. In many of the recipes that I have tried I use the puree form. I do not just blanch and puree it but enrich it with other ingredients. This puree can be used in many recipes which I will post soon.

1 bundle spinach leaves
1 medium sized onion
1 medium sized tomato
1 heaped tbs dry fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi
1tbs evaporated milk/ Khoya
2tsps ginger-garlic paste
Some oil

  • Chop off the roots of the spinach and wash clean adding salt. Then chop the spinach.
  • Chop the onions and tomatoes.
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions with the ginger-garlic paste.
  • Add the dry fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi. The aroma as you stir in the leaves is great!
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cover the pan and allow to cook.
  • Stir the mixture so that the juices blend.
  • Add the chopped spinach, cover and cook.
  • Once the spinach is done, stir in the evaporated milk.
  • Cool the mixture and puree it.
  • Your Enriched Spinach Puree is ready to be used to make a variety of delicious spinach dishes!

You can use Enriched Spinach Puree in

Pasta in Spinach Cream Sauce

Spinach Rice

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Okra Crisps/ Bhindi Bajis

This was one difficult post, simply because it was very difficult to photograph the crisps. Can you guess why? Because they would be completely wiped off before I had a chance to arrange it or get the camera ready. Finally successful at my third attempt, when the kids were in bed! Yes Okra crisps, a snacky way to get the veggies down and a good accompaniment to a main meal.
7-8 okra sliced fine diagonally
For the batter-
7tbs chic pea flour/ besan
Chilli powder
Salt to taste
A pinch of asafoetida
1tsp ajwain/omum (optional)
Oil for frying
  • Wash clean the okra and slice fine diagonally.

  • To prepare the batter mix the flour with water, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Make sure the batter is thick. Test the batter for spice and salt and add accordingly.
  • Coat the okra with the batter.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan and fry the okra crisps till brown.
  • Serve hot with or without some sauce. Enjoy anyways.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Raw Banana Dumplings in Tomato Gravy/ Kele ka kofta

Raw banana dumplings in tomato gravy is a recipe that I have got from a dear friend in my early days of experimental cooking. I was given the recipe through word of mouth and have always prepared it through memory. So I finally record it with memories of the good old days.


For the dumplings/koftas-
2 raw bananas
salt to taste
chilli powder to taste
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground pepper
rice flour/bread crumbs to roll the koftas
oil for frying

For the gravy-
2 large tomatoes
1 onion
1tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
chilli powder according to your spice levels
salt to taste
1tsp lemon juice
freshly chopped coriander

For koftas-
  • Wash clean the raw bananas and chop of both the ends. Cut each banana into 2 pieces and steam in a pressure cooker.
  • When they are done and cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and mash.
  • Add salt, chilli powder and ground cumin to the mashed bananas.
  • Roll into medium sized balls and coat with rice flour or bread crumbs and press well, so that the crumbs dont fall off while frying.
  • Fry the dumplings in oil till they are brown and keep aside.
For Gravy-
  • Roughly chop onion and tomatoes and puree with ginger-garlic paste.
  • Heat pan, and cook the puree.
  • Add the garam masala, salt and chilli powder, stir and cook.
  • When the spices have blended well, take off the heat.
To Serve-
  • Add the dumplings into the gravy.
  • Add the lemon juice and garnish with freshly chopped coriander and fresh cream.
  • Serve hot with rice, rotis/phulkas or wholemeal bread.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spinach and Lentil/Palak Dal

I've been wanting to blog on Superfood Spinach since a while and finally got down to it. Spinach and lentil is a very healthy combination and very easy to make as well. Again a page from my mom's recipes. Highly recommended for kids.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Minced Beef and Peas/Kheema Mattar

Minced meat with peas is one of the earliest recipes I had learnt from my mom's kitchen. A good blend of colours, vegetables, spices and meat.


500 gms minced beef
1tsp tumeric
8 whole peppercorns
1 big onion finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1tsp mustard seeds
1 cup shelled/frozen peas

2 green chillies finely chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
2 small potatoes chopped
1tsp garam masala
1 lemon juice
fresh coriander finely chopped

  • In a pressure cooker place meat, tumeric and peppercorns and pressure cook.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil, add the mustard seeds and splutter.
  • Add the chopped onion and saute.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, and chopped chillies.
  • Add potatoes and peas and cook.
  • Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the juices seperate.
  • When done add the cooked mince along with the stock and garam masala and mix well.
  • Cook for 2 minutes for spices to blend well.
  • Switch off the flame. Add the lemon juice and mix well.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice or phulkas or wholemeal bread.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beetroot Jam

Beetroot Jam is another great way to get the family to eat their beets! For the health benefits of beetroots, read here. The addition of nuts powder of course enriches the jam. The flavour of ginger and lemon gives it a unique taste.

4 beetroots peeled and grated
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 inches long fresh ginger piece peeled and grated
1 lemon juice
11/2 tbs cashew and almond powder.

  • Wash clean, peel and grate the beetroots fine.
  • Peel ginger and grate fine.
  • In a pan add the grated beetroots, sugar half of the lime juice, water, grated ginger and cook till most of the water evaporates.
  • After it cools to room temperature, grind the mixture in a blender to a smooth paste.
  • Return to the pan add the rest of the lemon juice and continue to cook. The jam shouldnt be too dry, it should be moist.
  • Take it off the fire and add the cashew nut and almonds powder.
  • When completely cool store in bottles.
You can also try-
Beetroot Cutlets
Beetroot Flatbread/Parathas

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Figs and Honey Cake

I had baked Figs and Honey Cake on the occassion of Rosh Hashanah- the Jewish New Year which was last month. I wasnt able to blog on it in time, for all the good reasons that moms go crazy at home! However better late than never. A nutritious cake for any member of the family, more so the kids. In most recipes I have seen the honey is used in the dough itself. I prefer to use it in raw form, thus have used it as a drizzle.


1cup flour
1cup salted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1cup dried figs washed, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup honey
1tsp baking powder
1/4tsp ground cinnamon

  • Sift flour and baking powder 3 times
  • Cream the sugar and butter
  • Whisk the eggs and add the beaten eggs and flour alternately to the sugar and butter mixture.
  • Roll the chopped figs in flour and add to the dough
  • Add ground cinnamon and pour into a greased cake tin.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven or microwave at 200 for 40 minutes. Then at 170 for 15 minutes.
  • Leave to stand for 20 minutes.
  • Cool to room temperature and slide off the tin onto a wired rack.
  • Then drizzle the honey onto the cake slowly to cover the top. The honey will seep through till you see it no more. Then turn it over to the other side and drizzle the rest of the honey.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pumpkin Erisheri With Split Bean(Moong Dal)

Pumpkin Erisheri is a recipe I learnt from my mom. A good mix of split bean and pumpkin gives you a dish high in protein, beta carotene and vitamins. Erisheri can be used as an accompaniment with rice. For babies on weaning foods, mash the erisheri with cooked rice for a substantial lunch. Dont forget to take off the chilli when using it for a baby.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chocolate Brownies

I have been wanting to bake a chocolate brownie since a very long time. I am aware its not a healthy option, however I am planning to adapt it to a healthy option soon, so stay tuned. For my first time, it was a great success and turned out exactly how I like it-fudgy on the top!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wholemeal Pumpkin Cake

I have been wanting to try a wholemeal cake since a long time, having known the negatives of refined flour. Finally got down to it with terrific results! The pumkin having enriched the cake with its benefits makes the wholemeal pumpkin cake a recommended snack for kids and adults. As I prepare this post, there is none of the cake left at home... all of it completely relished!

1cup wheat flour
1cup grated pumpkin
1cup salted butter
3/4cup sugar
3 eggs
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves

  • Sift flour and baking powder 3 times.
  • Beat the eggs and keep aside.
  • Cream the sugar and butter. Add the rest of the ingredients in.
  • If the consistency is too thick add some warm milk.
  • Grease a baking tray and fill in the contents.
  • Bake in a preheated oven or microwave at 200 for 40 minutes. Then at 170 for 15 minutes.
  • Leave to stand for 20 minutes.
  • Cool completely before taking off the pan and cutting into slices.
  • Serve and enjoy!


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