Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Corn Chowder

If you like fresh corn, you will LOVE this soup. "Chowder" soup seemed intimidating to me in the beginning.. I was thinking several ingredients, lots of steps, babysitting and stirring the soup constantly. NOT AT ALL. This soup screams summer with every mouthful. I mean who thinks of soup in the summer? But I'm telling ya, this soup with a piece of grilled bread (or leftover pizza dough in my case ;)  ) is amazing and hearty and surprisingly light for a chowder. So give this a try if you have tons of corn from your farmers market, if you are lucky enough to have a garden that is producing these sweet, golden kernels.


-  2 Tbsp butter
-  1/2 onion chopped
-  2 Tbsp All purpose flour
-  1/2 tsp garlic minced or paste
-  4 cups water or vegetable broth or a combination
-  4 small yukon gold potatoes cut in small pieces
-  1/2 tsp dried thyme or oregano
-  salt and pepper
-  2 Tbsp half and half
-  2 scallions finely chopped
-  grated cheddar for garnish
-  fresh parsley chopped


1.  Melt the butter in a large soup pot, and add the flour. Whisk until the flour is cooked about 2 minutes.

2.  Add the onions, corn, potatoes and garlic and sautee on medium heat for 10 minutes until onion is sweating. Add couple of teaspoons of olive oil if the mixture seems too dry.

3. Add all the liquid (stock+water) along with salt, pepper and dried herbs and let it simmer for 20 minutes. The potatoes and corn should be cooked through.

4.  Blend about half the mixture till creamy and stir it in with the other half back in the pot. Add scallions and fresh parsley. More black pepper if desired.

5.  Lastly add the half and half for that extra creaminess. Garnish with chopped parsley and a bit of grated cheddar.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash- Italian style

I discovered my love for spaghetti squash last Fall (I know, it's the following summer and getting around to blog just now). I'd heard the amazing benefits of this vegetable - one thing being that its low in calories (1 cup = 30 calories) but incredibly satisfying when combined with a variety of flavours. I experimented with two variations of the stuffed squash- Italian and Mexican.  For Italian , think lasagna ingredients (no pasta here obviously) and throw all that into the mix. 

I didn't add spinach but it would be great in this dish.


-  1/2 cup ricotta cheese 
-  1/4 cup red onion chopped
-  1/2 tsp garlic chopped
-  1/2 cup cooked quinoa
-  marinara sauce
-  1/2 cup peas
-  bunch of cherry tomatoes 
-  1 tsp dried oregano (fresh if in season)
-  1/2 tsp dried basil   (fresh if in season)
-  mozzarella cheese to top.


1.  First, roast the whole squash in a 400F oven for 30-40 minutes. When it's cooled, cut it lengthwise and scoop out all the inner seeds.

2.  In a large sautee pan, sautee the onions, garlic, tomatoes,  herbs, peas, ricotta and quinoa. Add the marinara and some salt and mix for 10 minutes. Tomatoes do not have to cook down. 

3.  Spoon the filling into the squash.

4.  Top with as much or little mozzarella as you like and bake at 375F for 15 minutes till cheese is melty and bubbly.

Cranberry Thokku (Spicy South indian pickle)

Thokku is a South indian jelly like condiment made usually with tomatoes. It can also be made with tart granny smith apples. During the Fall when cranberries are EVERYWHERE (including bodywash and candles), I thought why not make the same with these wonderful, tart berries. My recipe is a spinoff from various other blogs and is a bit less spicy.


1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 tsp mustard seeds1/2 tsp asofetida
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp sesame oil 


1.  In a large saucepan (with a lid), add the oil and when it's hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves.

2.  Add the bag of cranberries along with all other spices and keep stirring till everything is evenly coated and mixed nicely.

3.  On medium-high heat, let the cranberries start cooking down. Keep the lid on at this point but mix occassionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.  This will take a good 20 minutes at least.

4.  When the whole thing has reduced down to almost a jam or paste like consistency turn off the heat and let it cool.

5. Finally add the sesame oil and mix into the final thokku.

It tastes great with dosa, chapattis, or my favourite- yogurt rice.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Picnic Pasta Salad

I'm just now getting around to blog this super easy salad that I'd made for a picnic over the summer. Really light, refreshing and a breeze to put together.

1.  Chop up your favourite salad veggies - grape tomatoes, cucumbers,  red/yellow peppers , red onion

2.  Boil your favourite pasta (rotini or macaroni works best) according to package directions

3.  Make dressing- olive oil, italian dressing, salt, pepper, fresh basil, dried oregano. Add some pieces of fresh mozzarella if you have it on hand.

4.  Toss it all together.

Monday, December 29, 2014

15 minute Rasmalai!

So if you know me well, you would know that I'm not a huge fan of traditional Indian sweets. There's a handful of them that I really enjoy and rasmalai is one of them. It was my one and only major sweet craving while pregnant (apart from frozen yogurt). But too bad I didn't know this recipe existed back then.. probably a good thing LOL.

If you do make this recipe for a party, don't reveal the secret and it's simplicity to your guests. Yep, it's that good and that easy.

This past Diwali, I made this recipe for the first time and the entire batch disappeared pretty quick.


-  1 can of ready made rasgolla (I am partial to Haldirams)
-  1/2 cup condensed milk (adjust for desired level of sweetness)
-  2 cups of whole milk
-  Few strands of saffron
-  Cardomom seeds (5-6)
-  Toasted chopped almonds or pistachio to garnish


1.  Drain the rasgollas from the can and squeeze out all the extra syrup. Use a lemon squeezer if you have one, or else just gently place a large can or heavy pan over a plate of rasgollas and drain out the syrup.  The rasgollas can crumble if you place too much weight so be careful! This is the hardest step of the process, I promise!!

2.  In a large pot, combine the condensed milk and regular milk, cardamom and saffron and bring to a gradual boil.

3.  Add the drained rasgollas and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

4.  Add chopped nuts for garnish and enjoy warm or cold!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites

I was looking for an easy party holiday dessert to take to my husband's work Christmas Party last week when I stumbled upon this thanks to PINTEREST!!! I'm not a Pinterest-aholic by any means but I go on every once in a while when I'm bored of my recipes and want to venture into something I've never made before. Usually I'm pretty successful :)

This one is particularly GENIUS because it has only 4 ingredients!
  • Storebought premade gingerbread cookie dough - found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store
    • OR (as in my case), gingerbread cookie dough mix in a box- usually needs egg, water and butter to make the dough
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Once you've made the cookie dough according to package directions, make 1 tsp balls and place them in a mini cupcake lined tin.

I even used some festive ones :)

3.  Use the back of the teaspoon (back dipped in flour) to press the dough to form a cup.

4.  Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla and get it into a ziptop bag , with the end cut ready for piping.

5.  Fill the cups about half or a little more than half way up the top.  Sprinkle with red sugar glitter and bake for 10 minutes.

Kerala Style Egg Curry

This has very quickly become a family favourite as well as an easy dinner party dish.  What makes this different from any other egg "curry" is the ground coconut paste and freshly ground coriander and fennel seeds.  It goes great over steamed rice or phulka rotis.


-  5 eggs, hardboiled and halved
-  1/2 cup onion chopped
-  1 tsp coriander seeds
-  1 tsp fennel seeds
-  2 dried red chillies
-  6 curry leaves
-  2-3 Tbsp ground fresh coconut (use fresh and not the dried). You can find fresh ground coconut in the freezer section of the Indian grocery stores.
-  1/2 tsp turmeric
-  1 tsp tomato paste (optional)
-  1 inch ginger grated
-  1/2 tsp garlic minced (optional)


1.  In the spice grinder, freshly grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, red chillies and coconut. To make a paste later, add some water to this and give it a buzz. The coconut should be mixed in well with the spices to make a smooth paste.

2.  Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a pan and sautee onions.  Add ginger and optional garlic and curry leaves at this point and cook for a couple minutes. Then add the turmeric and the coconut paste with ground up spices. Add some water to thin it out and let this come to a simmer for about 5 minutes.  YOu can add optional tomato paste to this mixture but I like it much better without the tomato.

3.  Add the hard boiled eggs and continue to simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste and then serve over rice or with chappatis.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Coleslaw Obsession!!

Just a really quick post from me about my latest coleslaw obsession. I'm telling ya, I've probably consumed a small head of cabbage myself this way. I've had it instead of my usual tossed mixed veggie salad lately and it's so delicious!!! My kid just likes to see the food processor go wild shredding cabbage ... haha

I use Bobby Flay's coleslaw dressing (modified somewhat).

What can't you get enough of this summer?

Nutella Brownie Bites- 4 ingredients!

4 ingredients can lead to one perfect little dessert bite.

-  1 cup Nutella
-  10 Tbsp flour
-  2 eggs
 - Crushed almonds or sprinkles to top
(couple pinches of salt)- freebie :)

Mix all of these and spoon into mini muffin pan with pretty liners.

Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes.

Serve at your next party and become everyone's best friend :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fried Mini Idlis

First off, yes these ARE mini idlis, not fried potatoes!

They make a perfect party food or a snack. And if you have extra idli batter on hand, they are super quick to make too. I made them recently for a picnic and they were a big big hit, even with the kids. You can adjust the seasoning to your palette.


-  Steamed mini idlis, already prepared., cut in half.
-  couple pinches of cayenne pepper
-  1/2 tsp mustard seeds
-  1 tsp urad dal
-  1/4 tsp turmeric
-  5-6 curry leaves
-  1 tsp (non spicy) california chilli powder
-  2 Tbsp canola oil
-  1/2 onion small dice
-  salt to taste


In a sautee pan, first temper the mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves in hot oil.

Next, sautee remaining ingredients over medium high heat tossing occasionally . When everything is combined well and the idlis have browned somewhat, remove from heat and serve.

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