Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Janhi Chingudi (Ridge Gourd with Shrimp)


Ridge Gourd - 4
Shrimp - 15 Large (remove vein and shell)
Potato - 1 Large
Ground Onion-Ginger-Garlic Paste - 4 tbsp
Curry Powder - 4 tbsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Canola Oil - 3 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp or as per taste
Cumin seeds - 1/8 tsp
Dry Red Chilli - 2


Let the Shrimp thaw and be soft to touch.
Heat Canola oil. 
Once the oil is hot, add the Shrimp. Sprinkle Turmeric Powder and Salt and mix well. Stir every min or so till the Shrimp is cooked. Do not overcook.
Keep the Shrimp aside. In the oil remaining in the pan, add the chopped Potato. I chopped the Potato length-wise so it is similar in shape to the chopped Ridge Gourd.
Once the Potato is cooked, keep it aside with the Shrimp.
In the oil that remains, add Cumin seeds and dry Red Chilli.
Once this oil is tempered with Cumin seeds and dry Red Chilli, add a pinch of sugar and caramelize the same.
Add the Ground Onion-Ginger-Garlic Paste and mix well.
Once the paste is half-cooked, add the chopped Ridge Gourd
Note: Chop the Ridge Gourd into two or three pieces, so that it is easier to chop individually. Remove the skin and then chop into small cubes,
Cover if necessary.
Once the Ridge Gourd looks cooked, add the already cooked Shrimp and Potato pieces.
Mix well. Cover if necessary. Add a dash of water to prevent the dish from sticking to the sides of the pan.

Enjoy with Rice\Dal or Roti\Chapatti.

I was a never a fan of this vegetable, right from my childhood days. During my parents recent visit, my mom prepared this dish. I loved it but that was it. It's been a few months since and I thought of grabbing a few Ridge Gourd during my recent grocery shopping. Was I surprised how delicious this dish turned out to be!?! Think it's gonna be a staple.

The garlic-based Spinach dish in this pic is also a recent favorite of mine. I am adding a lot of new vegetables to my pantry this holiday season - can't be more proud of myself! The cooking experience when relaxed is a different experience - it is not a chore.

More about Ridge Gourd and it's health benefits (blood purifier, manages insulin levels, etc. among others) can be found here. More details about the vegetable can be found here (the image is from the same website).

Ridge gourd medically referred to as Luffa acutangula as well as called turiya or even turai or beerakai or dodka in several languages in India is yet another variety of gourd along with a functional veggie that provides a facet to the veggie delicacies. This can be referred to as Chinese Okra or even Sponge gourd.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Achari Brussel Sprouts

Yay! Another new vegetable added to my kitchen - yes, Brussel Sprouts. I have always avoided it for no apparent reason - in my experimentation mode which usually creeps in during the holidays, I got adventurous, if one may say so. 

Brussel Sprouts - 1 pack typically includes about 20 pieces
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp

Cut off the tough base of the Brussel Sprout and cut it length-wise into halves.
Marinade with Turmeric and Salt. I left it overnight, but an hour or so should suffice, I guess.

Canola Oil - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chilli - 3
Onion-Ginger-Garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Achari Spice Mix - 3-4 tbsp (I used a brand gifted by my cousin, bought from Indore, India; Shan brand should also work)
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp

Heat Canola oil in a pan.
As it warms up, add the Cumin seed as well Dry Red Chilli and let it sizzle.
Add the ground Onion-Ginger-Garlic paste. Mix it well and let it cook.
As the spice mix is getting cooked, add the Achari spice mix and coriander powder.
Add the marinaded Brussel Sprouts and mix it well.
Cook in high heat till the sprouts are cooked. Add few drops of water if you see the spice getting stuck to the pan sides.
If needed, cover for a few mins in Lowe heat.

Serve it as a side with Rice or Roti/Chappati. Enjoy! I had mine with Roti, Dal (lentils), Mutton Liver curry and Cauliflower/Mushroom Pakoda (fritters) - yum, that was a feast!

Eggless Dates-based Nankhatai (Indian shortbread cookies)

Inspired by the recipe here: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/nankhatai-recipe/


  • 1 cup Maida or all purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Besan/gram flour
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Sooji/Rava/Cream of Wheat
  • ⅛ tsp Nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp Cardamom powder
  • ½ cup Ghee
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 10 Dates
  • Quarter cup Milk
  • Few Almonds or Dates, chopped
  • Decorative Sugar

  1. Grind Dates with Milk till it is a smooth mixture. Keep it aside.
  2. Cream the Ghee and Sugar in a food processor.
  3. Mixture should become smooth, light and creamy.
  4. Sift the the following dry ingredients - maida or all purpose flour, gram flour/besan, baking powder and baking soda. keep the sifted dry ingredients aside.
  5. add milk/dates ground mixture to the creamed ghee+sugar mixture. mix very well.
  6. now add the sifted dry ingredients. also add the sooji/rava/cream of wheat, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder.
  7. gently mix everything. do not knead. just mix and gather to a smooth dough. if the mixture is too crumbly and you cannot bring together to a dough, then add 1 to 3 tbsp of milk. mix lightly and bring the mixture to a dough.
  8. pinch medium sized balls from the dough.
  9. roll them evenly in your palms. slightly flatten them. press decorative sugar and/or almonds on the top lightly.
  10. you can also make some criss cross designs on the nankhatais with a fork or toothpick.
  11. place the cookies in a baking tray.
  12. keep some space between them as they expand while baking.
  13. bake the nankhatai in a pre heated oven at 350F for 25 mins till light golden.
  14. remove and place them on wire racks.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Chicken Kadai (with Banne Nawab Masala)


Chicken - 1 whole (about 20 pieces)
Onion-Ginger-Garlic paste - 15 tbsp (paste made with 2 Tomato, 1 large Onion, 6 cloves Garlic, 1 inch Ginger)
Banne Nawab brand Kadai Chicken Masala - 1/2 packet
Turmeric - 1tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chilli - 3
Dry Bay Leaf - 3
Canola oil - 3 tbsp


Thaw the Chicken to room temperature.
Marinade with Salt and Turmeric for approx. 30 mins.

Heat Canola oil in a pan.
As it warms up, add Cumin seeds, dry Bay leaf and dry Red Chilli to temper the oil.
Add the ground Onion-Ginger-Garlic paste. Mix it well.
Stir it frequently till the paste is cooked and oil starts separating.
Add the Chicken and mix it well. Cook at Medium-High heat to avoid the Chicken from becoming too watery.

As the Chicken is half-cooked, add the Kadai Masala spice mix. Mix it well.

If the spice mix or Chicken is sticking to the sides of the pan, add few dashes of water and remove the stuck items before it burns. Cover it for a few mins, if needed, to make it cook faster.

In the last 5 mins, you can add half an Onion, chopped into long slices. Mix it well and continue cooking. Serve it warm with Roti/Chapatti or Rice/Dal.

Note - There is a recipe enclosed in the Banne Nawab brand Kadai Chicken Masala spice mix. We love that preparation as well but it is different from the above.

Stir fried Bok Choy with Peanut Vignaigrette


Bok Choy - 1 pack (about 8)
Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Canola oil - 2 tbsp
Peanut Vignaigrette- a dash or 3-4 tbsp (as per taste)
Salt - 1/4 tsp or as per taste
Pepper - as per taste


Chop the base of the Bok Choy
Cut it into halves or quarters length-wise
Clean it using running water - there may be dirt trapped in the base.

Heat Canola oil in a pan.
Add Peanuts to lightly roast them. Keep close watch in order to not burn them.
When the Peanuts are roasted, add the chopped and cleaned Bok Choys.
Add Salt and Pepper. Mix it well.

You can serve it at this point.
Alternatively, add the Peanut Vignaigrette and let it cook for another 5 mins.

Serve hot. 

Another alternative is to use chopped garlic instead of Peanuts - this will give two slightly different dishes than the above. Refer "Bok Choy Recipe by Steamy Kitchen" that shows how to clean Bok Choy and the Garlic-based recipe.

I am a Bok Choy fan now, as you can see! :) Happy holidays, everyone!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tuna Fried Rice


Canned Tuna (in Olive Oil) - 1 can
Potatoes - 4 Medium, boiled and coarsely mashed
Onion - 1 Large, chopped
Green Chilli - 3/4, chopped (if not available, 1 dry red chilli will do!)
Dry Bay Leaf - 2

Cooked Rice - 2 cups (or more, if you want more Rice compared to Fish!)
Eggs - 4

Shan Egg Fried Rice Spice Mix - 1/2 packet (optional)
Salt, as per taste
Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp (or lesser, optional)
Cumin Seeds - 2 to 3 pinches

Canola Oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp


Use Paper towel to squeeze out the olive oil from the canned Tuna. The Tuna should eventually fall apart.
Mix it with Turmeric Powder, Chilli Powder and Salt.
Add the mashed Potato to the above and mix it together.

Heat 2 tbsp Canola oil in a flat pan.
Add Cumin Seeds, dry Bay Leaf and Green Chilli (or Dry Red Chilli). Let it sizzle and temper the oil.
Add chopped Onions. Stir and let it cook in medium heat for 5 mins till the Onion is translucent.
Add the already prepared Tuna-Potato mixture and mix it well.
Add little water if the mixture is sticking to the sides of the container. Keep stirring and let it mix till the raw smell is gone. Takes about 5-10 mins.
Keep this mixture aside. We will add it to the cooked Rice later.

Heat 1 tbsp Canola oil in a flat pan.
Once the oil is warm, add the eggs and let it cook. Stir it so that you have well cooked pieces of eggs.
Add Salt and Black Pepper for flavor.
Add the cooked Rice (room temperature is preferred for the Rice). Mix it well.
Add the Shan Egg Fried Rice Spice Mix, if you are planning to use it. Mix it well.
Add the prepared Tuna mix and combine them all together. This takes about another 5 mins.

I usually cover it and let it sit for 10-15 mins before serving. It goes well with a slice of Onion and Tomato or Raita or just Tomato Ketchup!

Bon Appetit! :)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Chia Seeds with Yoghurt Chat

Lately I have started eating one tablespoon of Chia seeds in some form or the other. One of my favourite is mixing it with Apple juice or Orange juice. Today I mixed it with Yoghurt and a teaspoon of Chat Masala. I had it as a side to Batata Poha.