What is it about a plate piled high with cookies that is so hard to resist? I certainly can’t resist. Apparently neither can my family, who ate four bags worth of cookies in two days when I brought them the results of last weeks recipe testing. I had just spent the previous week working to find just the right cookie for dipping into chai. I’ve actually been searching for the perfect chai cookie recipe for the past two years and I think I finally found it.
My fixation for the perfect chai cookie started on my first visit to India. We had been married in the US and flew to India for a wedding reception. Our month-long trip turned into my new familyRead More
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
Indian food can be spicy. That’s putting it mildly. Spice is what gives Indian food it’s excitement. Almost every Indian food fan I meet shares my love of a great buffet of spicy and colorful food selections. Once the meal is over however, those spices and flavors can linger on your tongue, so it’s important to have something on hand that can cleanse away that stubborn heat. To avoid always resorting to sweets, Hubby and I like to keep a yogurt based dish on hand, which immediately cools and refreshes. This dish is known as Raita and is often an accompaniment to meals.Read More
This recipe comes from my new friend and Hindi teacher, Seema. Everyday we meet for an hour and half and I struggle through not being allowed to speak English. When I told Seema I write a blog about Indian cooking and that I make videos with my Mummy-ji, she immediately invited me to her home to make some videos with her and her family. I went to her beautiful home and met her sister-in-law, Madhu, who joined us in the kitchen to show us how she makes one of her best dishes, Shahi Paneer. Shahi Paneer roughly translates as “Royal Paneer” and the taste of this dish lives up to it’s glamorous title. Seema and I recorded a great video on how to cook perfect rice, which will be posted next week. For today, we all get toRead More
Mummy-ji and I have been cooking up a storm this week. She has been a great sport while I’ve gotten myself in the strangest positions, trying to find the best possible angles to capture each recipe. More than a few times my dupatta (scarf) has been in danger of catching on fire during a few particularly acrobatic angles.
This week, we are working on editing the footage and into great step-by-step videos of Mummy-ji’s wonderful cooking. Here is a snippet of what is coming up in the next few weeks:Read More
We are on our annual India Trip and this year I’m spending most of my trip in the kitchen. Mummy-ji and I are side by side almost everyday while she teaches me each and every step of some of her favorite recipes. Hubby’s made it known which dishes are top priority to learn from her while I’m here. I thought it would be fun to include some detailed videos of our readers’ favorite recipes, featuring the cook who makes them best. So check back soon and keep your computers and kitchens ready for a series of how-to videos.
Here is a preview of the recipes and videos to come. Stay tuned as more and more videos will be making their way to the blog faster than you can say “how do you make navratan korma?“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
Tea fans are very specific about what makes a “perfect” cup. With that being said, I will share with you my favorite tea recipe and what our friends and family insist we serve to them when they come to visit. It’s almost exactly the same as my first recipe for plain chai, however, this has a strong kick of freshly grated ginger.
Like many of the Indian dishes I’ve tried over the years, I didn’t like ginger chai at first. This seems to be my initial reaction to anything I haven’t tried before. Now, I can hardly do without it.
This is a strong cup of chai and warms you all over. During the winter months…and by winter I’m referring to a chilly CalifornianRead 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
There are many things I can do well in the kitchen, but cooking rice has never been one of them. It’s a low priority item in our household as we prefer chapatis over rice. On the days we have made rice, Hubby has always been the one to make it. He cooks his mother’s recipe, which he learned when leaving for America.
On a recent night out to eat, Hubby had taken me to dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant in the bay area, Bombay Gardens. It was there that I realized how delicious a simple rice dish can be when it’s made the right way.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
Just up the street from us is a tiny Indian bakery called Jewel of India. If a friend or coworker doesn’t give you the scoop on where to find it, you might easily miss it. The bakery is sandwiched between a small Indian grocery store, and a pool hall. Though small and humble looking, it has some of the best dessert and snack items in our area.
Besides offering a full lunch and dinner menu, they boast a large selection of delectable Indian desserts. At the front of their modest store is a large glass display counter. Every shelf is piled high with neat squares of traditional milk-made desserts in a rainbow of colors.Read More
A while back I posted a recipe for my favorite pizza dough and shared the story of how the recipe grew from many pizza failures, starting from flat crust, to a whole wheat crust. I tried all kinds of combinations, even a terrible attempt at an Indian fusion pizza with Indian cheese called paneer rather than the typical favorite of mozzarella.
One of my fellow blogging friends, Ansh of SpiceRoots, read the post and commented that she had a great recipe for an Indian pizza with paneer. Well, I just couldn’t resist asking her if she would do a guest post of the recipe.