In India, I would sit in the living room with Hubby and Mummy-ji, hunching over the coffee table while we peeled pods of peas and tried to see who could fill their bowl the fastest. I always lost. I had never peeled a pea pod in my life. Meanwhile Hubby and Mummy-ji would be onto their second bowl before I had even gotten halfway through my first. I could never put my finger on how a chore like peeling peas could become so fun, but Punjabis seem to be experts at turning chores into competitions.
Before last year’s trip, I had never seen real peas in a pod. The only peas I’ve had exposure to is the kind you buy in the frozenRead More
For Hubby’s birthday, I decided to make him a dish he has been requesting for about the last 8 years of marriage. Why haven’t I made this dish yet? Mainly because my sister-in-law makes such an amazing version, I never dreamed I could live up to his expectations.
This year however, he arrived home from his India trip with a full video of his sister making this recipe. That’s when I realized it was time to give it a go.
To be honest, I have always been intimidated to try this dish. It has complex flavor and uses a variety of vegetables, so I figured itRead More
UPDATE: The winner of the giveaway is:
Sarah S. ”I love curry and naan.”
Congratulations Sarah, you’ll be receiving an email from us today. Thank you to everyone who entered. Your wonderful comments have inspired us to create a whole list of new videos.
We have received so many emails from readers trying out our recipes and sharing their successes. We love reading your stories and it’s a treat seeing all your great photos! One of the themes weRead More
I recently received an email from a reader, who asked if I would do a post on “essential Indian spices”. I wrote a similar post about Essential Equipment for Indian cooking and it is high time I do one for spices.
I love the idea of a quick-start guide to Indian cooking. I have had many people tell me they haven’t tried Indian cooking because the list of spices is too intimidating, and it can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
To show you how easy it really is, I would like to share with you a picture of my mother-in-law’s spice box. This box contains only threeRead More
This recipe for chole is part one of a two part recipe of a Punjabi food favorite, chole bhature. Chole bhature can be found at fancy restaurants, street side vendors which line the streets of Bombay (famous for spicy Punjabi food), railway stations and many more places.
Chole is chickpeas cooked in spicy gravy and bhature is the bread – deep fried bread – which is what makes it such an extra special treat. Next week I’ll be posting our video recipe for bhature. In the meantime, you can get in some practice on the main dish.
One of the best things about making these videos with Mummy-ji is that it has given us something to connect over. As I’m still struggling to learn Hindi, Mummy-ji and I cannot say much to each other. How do you bond with someone when you can’t talk and joke with them? It’s been a tricky situation and one I often struggle with as I would love to be close with her. Spending everyday in the kitchen, hovering over her shoulder or under her elbow has certainly helped to bring us closer together. Before I publish a new video, I always show it to Mummy-ji so she can see the results of our work together. I love to see the smile that spreads across her face when Hubby and I share with her the comments and emails so many people send us aboutRead More
Turmeric. The golden spice. It can turn a dull looking dish into a colorful treat and it’s used in almost every recipe. While it does not add any particular flavor, it’s the rich golden color that makes this spice so desirable. It gives curries their luscious rich color. Add it to bland looking dishes such as cauliflower, potatoes or paneer and your dish will transform into a golden meal fit for royals. Actually, depending on the dish, whether it’s alkaline or acidic, the turmeric can turn either yellow or red. Mushroom Tikka Masala and Malai Kofta, both of which use a base of tomato tadka will turn red, while daals, eggs and garbanzo beans will turn yellow.Read More
Daals are immensely popular in Indian cooking. A daal (spelled either as daal or dal) is made with lentils and is similar enough to a thick stew, though it’s hardly ever eaten with a spoon. It’s always scooped up with chapatis or ladled over rice. This recipe for daal is wonderfully simple and yet surprisingly tasty. However, there is no set recipe for Tadka Dal and you can find a variety of tadka daal recipes online. Each region of India has its own version of tadka daal. In North India, they may add spinach to the daal, while in other parts of India they may use up to three different types of lentils. Whatever way you make it, this Indian stew is a staple of any Indian household and can be whipped up in only thirty minutes.Read More
It would be honest to say this is the most exciting post for me so far. Malai Kofta is a vegetarian dumpling dish made with the best curry sauce you will ever taste. It is also my all-time favorite Indian dish. What is most significant about this dish is that we served it at our wedding. It’s a very fancy dish, which you don’t find cooked regularly in Indian home kitchens. It’s mostly made for special occasions such as weddings and large festivals. Surprisingly though, my first exposure to Malai Kofta was an Indian TV dinner. We used to spend every weekend in Santa Cruz (my home town) and rather than cooking two and a half days worth of food, Hubby and I would stock up on Mirch Masala brand TV Dinners.Read More
This recipe came about from a desire to make my own samosas but wanting to avoid any deep frying. Most people who are fans of Indian food already know of the wonderful samosa. For those who have been missing out, it’s an Indian pastry with a filling of spicy potatoes and peas wrapped in thick dough and deep-fried. It’s basically everything you could ever want in a hand-held meal. Perfect if you eat on the run.
The recipe I wound up with is completely different. Let’s just keep in mind it was the humble and wonderful samosa which was the original inspiration. A samosa is what was intended.Read More
When people who are new to Indian food hear the word “curry”, they think of curry powder and of course, the wonderful spicy sauce we see in so many Indian dishes. But did you know Curry is actually a plant?
Curry leaves are used in Indian cooking and provide a unique smoky flavor.
Curry powder is a blend of spices that contains coriander, cumin, fenugreek, mustard, turmeric…which gives it that great yellow color and of course, red chili, which gives it’s signature heat.Read More
It’s a foggy morning here in San Jose. Fog is not something I expect when I’m home in San Jose. Damp grey mornings are a daily occurrence in the beach-side towns of Aptos and La Selva where I grew up and are therefore expected. Waking up to hovering grey clouds of mist obscuring my morning view of downtown San Jose is a bit unexpected.
Grey mornings put me in a reading mood. I thumbed through my growing pile of library books, which after an 8 PM library outing last night now totals eighteen items. I tend to thumb my way through many books at a time, becoming enthralled with a gallery of how-toRead More
We are finishing up our month long visit (only five days left!) and I’ve noticed I have only posted one recipe. Some of you might be wondering if I have been learning any cooking during my time here. The answer is, you bet I have! One of my main goals for this trip was to learn more local cuisine made in real homes as opposed to some of the fancy restaurant creations often touted in most cookbooks. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the homes of some of the best cooks in the neighborhood and peering over their shoulder, snapping shot after shot as they show me their best dishes and family favorites. I’ve also been a constant presence in our own Punjabi kitchen watching Mummy-ji and even trying to lend a hand where I can.Read More
After arriving in India at 4:00 AM Friday morning, we slept for a few hours and got up at 10:00 AM with a severe case of jet lag. Once hubby and I were awake enough for breakfast, we had our first meal in India. The ultimate Punjabi breakfast of aloo parathas and chai. Aloo Parathas are Hubby’s favorite comfort food. He grew up eating them almost everyday. If I go too long without making them, he’ll soon start to request them. Parathas are like chapatis in that they are Indian flat-breads, but what makes them different from chapatis is that they are layered with either a stuffing of some kind such as potatoes or you can also stuff them with paneer (Indian cheese), cauliflower, radish, fenugreek leaves or eggs. Plain parathas have layers of ghee (clarified butter) folded into into them. Some parathas have the stuffing made into the dough itself, while others have the stuffing enveloped into the dough. Aloo parathas are filled with a spicy potato mixture that has been enveloped into the dough and then rolled flat.
On Sunday morning, I woke to find Hubby making breakfast for me! Having food made for you when you are the one in the kitchen everyday is quite a luxury. Of course, I knew immediately what he must have been making. There are only two things he makes on his own these days and that would be either scrambled eggs or vegetable rice. As it was nine in the morning, you can guess what he was making. Indian style scrambled eggs are pretty much responsible for Hubby surviving at college. He would make himself eggs in the morning and then only ate again once he got home at midnight after a full day of classes and multiple campus jobs. No wonder he was as skinny as a stick when I first met him.Read More