Sunday, September 24, 2006

Perfect snack for rainy afternoon

Its been raining all day...thankfully its a sunday and THE perfect weather to sleep in. Here's a perfect snack to make the perfect sunday even better...

Perfect snack for a rainy Sunday afternoon - Red Onion,
Bell pepper (Capsicum), Jalapeño pakoras with piping hot ginger tea! Yummmm


For the batter:
Besan or chikpea flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - ½ cup
Salt - 1½tsp
Chilli powder - ¾-1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Asafoetida - a pinch
Baking soda - ¼ tsp
Ajwain seeds - ½ tsp (optional)
Coriander leaves - ¼ cup (finely chopped) (optional)
Enough water to make the batter a syrupy consistency.

For the filling: one or more of the following
Red onion (Cut in circles)
Hungarian banana peppers (make a slit and de-seed and de-vein after cooking in boiling water with salt for a minute) You could fill it with shredded mexican cheese for a 'stuffed jalapeños' taste.
Bell pepper (Cut in bite size squares)
Potatoes (sliced thin)
Raw Plantains (cut in half across and sliced thin)
Paneer (cubed)
Tofu (cubed)
You get the idea...


  • Make the batter with all ingredients and let it sit for about 5-10 mts
  • Get the filling ready in the meanwhile
  • Dip the vegetables in the batter and fry in hot oil
  • If batter is too thin (watery), dip the fried pakoras in the batter again and refry them.
  • Enjoy with a good mint or chilli sauce with hot tea or coffee!

Ready to Salsa?


Tortilla cups filled with salsa, topped with a dollop of sour cream


2 cups seeded, chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves fresh chopped garlic
1/2 an onion chopped
1 tbsp jalapenos de-veined, finely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt


  • Mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
  • Lightly mash with back of fork for about 10 seconds to help release juices.
  • Refrigerate or serve fresh with tortilla chips or nachos.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Enchiladas Moghulai

KS aka paneer king has been MIA for the past two weeks burying himself in some grant work. So when he was finally free..he dropped by on Friday evening. While I was all game to eat out, the guys had a different idea. What was to be a simple dinner by da boys, became an elaborate mexican menu plan in no time.

We had Salsa and tortilla chips to tide us over till dinner got ready at about 10pm. Salsa recipe has also been posted.

Enchiladas Moghulai... Proof that you can put paneer in just about any dish!

Enchiladas with Paneer and bell pepper filling

Ingredients (Makes about 9 Enchiladas for 4-5 people)

Paneer: 450 Grams

Green Bell Pepper: ½

Red Bell Pepper: ½

Yellow Bell Pepper: ½

Red Onions: 3

Roma Tomatoes: 5

Garlic: 4 cloves

Cilantro: ½ bunch

Shredded Jack, Shredded Mozarella (mix): 3 cups

Enchilada Spice Mix: 1 pack

Garam Masala: 3 tsp

Red Chilli Powder: 3 tsp

Turmeric: 1 tsp

Tawa Fry Masala: 1 tsp

Flour/Corn Tortillas: 9

Sour Cream: As per taste

Cumins: 3 teaspoons

Tomato Sauce: 4 tsp

Instructions (For the sauce)

  • Chop 2 onions very fine
  • Chop all the tomatoes very fine
  • Chop the garlic very fine
  • Heat oil in a pan, and add cuins
  • Wait till it gets heated and add the onions and brown it
  • Add turmeric, red chilli powder, 2 Garam Masala, 1 tsp Tawa Fry, and 1 pack Enchilada Sauce
  • Add the tomatoes and 3 teaspoons of Tomato Sauce
  • Add a cup of water and let cook for 10 minutes
  • Blend the sauce until smooth

Instructions (For the filling)

  • Slice the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and the paneer
  • Heat oil in a pan, and add the sliced veggies
  • Add 1 teaspoon tomato sauce, garam masala, red chilli powder, and turmeric
  • Sautee the veggies for about 5 minutes
  • Add the paneer and sautee for another 15 minutes on high stirring frequently
  • Add Cilantro for garnishing

Instructions (For Baking)

  • Warm the tortillas
  • Put a thin layer of the sauce on the surface of the tortilla and add cheese, the filling, some raw onions and wrap the tortilla up
  • Take a baking sheet and spray some oil on it
  • Lay the wrapped tortillas next to each other
  • Put sauce, cheese, and onions on top of the tortillas and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese melts
  • Add a dollop of sour cream on top before eating and ENJOY!!!!

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Low fat spinach artichoke dip

Popcorn, Potato chips.... move aside. Give way to.. Tortilla chips and spinach artichoke dip.

Here's a recipe for the perfect snack for a movie marathon...

Spinach artichoke dip wrapped in a spinach tortilla, topped with salsa.


2 cups (8 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup (1 oz.) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8 oz.) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 (13.5 oz.) package baked tortilla chips (about 16 cups)


Spinach artichoke dip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next six ingredients (2 tablespoons Parmesan through spinach) in a large bowl. Stir until well-blended.

Spoon mixture into a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips.

Makes 5-½ cups

Shrooms Spaghetti

In continuation with the recent trend of quick-dinner recipes, spicedforlife now presents.....Spaghetti with mushrooms.

Spaghetti with mushrooms in a marinara sauce

What you need:

All ingredients to make the sauce- storebought marinara sauce, mushrooms (not in pic) heavy cream (optional), Red onion, Few pods of garlic, Red chili flakes and dried parsley and of course...olive oil.


  • Slice mushrooms, onion and chop garlic and keep aside.
  • In a separate container, cook the spaghetti with lots of water (Add 1 tsp of salt to the water before adding the spaghetti)
  • In a hot pan with 2 tsp of olive oil, add the chopped garlic followed by the sliced onion and the mushrooms. Add enough salt for the vegetables only (approx ½ tsp)
  • Now add ¼-½ tsp of red chili flakes and cook for 2 mins

  • Add the marinara sauce or you can make it at home with crushed tomatoes.
  • Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.
  • Now add 2 tbsp of heavy cream and ¼ tsp of sugar to the sauce and garnish with dried parsley flakes

  • In the meanwhile, your spaghetti would have cooked al dante (firm to bite) . Mix the cooked spaghetti with the sauce and serve.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Aval (Poha) Upma

I often tell K....if I were a single grad student living in the US, I'd probably never cook at happy with just cereal for b'fast lunch and dinner. In fact, when he goes out of town, thats what I do most of the time. Its too boring to cook for just one person...even more so if that one person is yourself. Here's an Indian meal you can whip up in less than 15 mts. It will be a welcome break from the junk food most single students eat. Navs...this one's for you.

Aval Upma

Aval upma

Ingredients - serves 2

Aval Upma - Made with flattened rice and tamarind

Aval or flattened rice (approx 2 to 3 cups)
½ red onion
1 green chili
½ tsp tamarind paste
1½ tsp coriander seeds
2 red chillies
1 tsp urad dhal
1 tsp chana dhal
½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Asafoetida a pinch
Curry leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste
Cooking oil

Optional (roast in a tsp of oil and grind to a coarse powder)
½ tsp urad dhal

1 tsp chana dhal
1 red chili
1 tsp coriander seeds


  • Take a flat, large bowl and wash the poha or aval in water. Do not allow the water to stay and drain immediately without any traces of water.
  • Grind to a coarse powder, the coriander seeds, red chilies, urad dhal, and chana dhal after frying them in a tsp of cooking oil.
  • Then take a large pan and pour some cooking oil and add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Then add the cut green chili.
  • Then add urad and chana dhal, dried red chili followed by onion, curry leaves and turmeric powder. Season with asafoetida. Cook until the onions are cooked.
  • Now add the aval or poha. Mix the tamarind in ¼ cup of water and pour the liquid in.
  • When the tamarind has been absorbed, add the ground masala to the aval along with salt. Stir the mixture well till the aval is coated with the masala powder.
  • Keep the pan covered for about 2-3 minutes and garnish with coriander leaves just before serving.
  • And the delicious upma is ready....Enjoy
  • Aval upma with a dollop of sour cream and avakaai pickle

Kadai Paneer - Annu's pride

Its been a while since I've posted anything. Semester has begun and I've been burdened with loads of assignments. Anyway..since today is Friday, I'm in a good mood, and I've decided to post quite a few entries that I've been working on. Starting off the list is a guest post from my sis Annu. She lives in Germany and she's the one who got me attracted to food blogs. Constantly supplying me with tried and tested excellent sis, wife, mom and not to forget a great cook! Thats Annu for you..
Some patience she has with cooking, she actually made the paneer from scratch. Enjoy this sure looks yumm...

Kadai Paneer

Kadai Paneer (serves 2-3)

2 cups green capsicum (sliced thin)
1 cup paneer (cut in 1 inch cube)
3 tbsp tomato paste
For masala
pich of turmeric
5 red dry chillies
1 tsp dhania (roasted)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
salt as per taste
1 big pinch of kasuri methi
For garnish -
finely chopped cilantro
  • Wash and slice capsicum in thin strips. Par cook them in microwave for abt 4 mins with little salt water.
  • Marinate the paneer cubes with little salt and chilli powder.
  • Roast the dry chillies and dhania and grind them to a powder, mix this powder with half a cup of water.
  • Take 2 tbsp of oil in a kadai, add the ginger garlic paste and saute for abt 5 mins, once its cooked, add the ground powder paste and cook in slow flame till oil seperates from the masala.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 mins.
  • Toss the capsicum pcs till well coated and cook on high flame for 7 mins.
  • Add the marinated paneer and salt to taste.
  • Toss everything till well coated.
  • Goes well with all rotis and even rice accompanied by a plain dal.