Archive for the ‘Starters’ Category

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

1 loaf  bread
2 to 3 large tomatoes
1/2 large cucumber
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper
1/2 medium onion
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil


Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes: Slice or tear the bread into roughly 1-inch cubes.

Dry the bread: bake in a 300°F oven until hardened on the outside but still slightly soft in the middle, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking.

Chop the vegetables: Chop the tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper into bite-sized pieces. Slice the onion into thin slices and soak in a bowl of cold water for 10 to 15 minutes while assembling the rest of the salad.

Make the vinaigrette: Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper in a jam jar. Shake vigorously. Alternatively, combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Combine the salad in a bowl: Combine the bread and chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over top and use a spatula to thoroughly combine.

Let the salad sit for 1/2 hour to 4 hours: Let the salad sit at least half an hour before serving, or up to 4 hours. Stir occasionally so the juices and vinaigrette are evenly distributed.

Add basil and serve: Just before serving, stir in the basil. This salad is best eaten the day it’s made.

Peanut chaat with curd

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015


1 cup boiled peanuts
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1 small english cucumber, diced
1 small green chilli, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chaat masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients For Spiced Yogurt

1 cup thick yogurt
1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mixed herbs

To begin making Peanut Chaat With Spiced Yogurt, first prepare the spiced yogurt.

Add all the ingredients under “For Spiced Yogurt” into a bowl. Whisk well until mixed, cover and refrigerate for half an hour.

In another medium bowl combine boiled peanuts, turmeric powder, chopped tomato, diced cucumber, salt, green chilli, chaat masala, cumin powder, sugar and lemon juice. Stir well.

To serve the Peanut Chaat, spread a layer of spiced yogurt as a base in a wide bowl. Scoop the peanut salad on to it and serve.

Charmoula Vegetable Satay

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012


For The Marinade (makes 1/2 Cup)
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped coriander (dhania)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic (lehsun)
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dry red chilli flakes (paprika)
salt to taste
3/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 tsp chopped ginger (adrak)
1/2 tsp green chilli paste
1 tbsp hung low-fat curds (dahi)
1 tsp cornflour
1/8 tsp sugar substitute

Other Ingredients
1 1/4 tsp oil
1 1/2 thick slices of brinjal (baingan / eggplant) (baingan/ eggplant) , cut into quarters
6 red capsicum cubes , deseeded and cut into 25 mm. (1”) pieces
3 blanched mushrooms (khumbh) , halved
6 yellow capsicum cubes , deseeded and cut into 25 mm. (1”) pieces
6 cauliflower florets , blanched
6 green capsicum cubes , deseeded and cut into 25 mm. (1”) pieces
6 onion cubes , cut into 25 mm. (1”) pieces
6 carrot roundels , cut into 6 mm. ( 1/4”) thickness and blanched

For the marinade

  •     Combine all the ingredients along with 1 tsp of water and blend in a mixer to smooth paste. Keep aside.

How to proceed

  •     Heat ½ tsp of oil in a broad non-stick pan, add the brinjal and cook on a slow flame for 3 to 4 minutes or till the brinjal is light brown in colour from both the sides.
  •     Combine the brinjals and all the remaining ingredients including the marinade in a bowl and toss well. Keep aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  •     Thread a piece of red capsicum, mushroom, yellow capsicum, cauliflower, green capsicum, onion, carrot and brinjal on a satay stick.
  •     Repeat the same with the remaining ingredients to make 5 more satays.
  •     Cook each satay on a non-stick tava (griddle), using 1/8 tsp of oil, till the vegetables turn golden brown in colour on all the sides.
  •     Serve hot.


Steamed Spinach Dumplings

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011


…4 cups spinach leaves
4 tablespoons wheat flour
2 tablespoons bengal gram flour (besan)
2 tablespoons semolina (rava)
2 teaspoons each of chopped ginger and garlic
4 green chillies chopped fine
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon each of turmeric powder and soda bi-carb
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh cream
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper to taste


Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and knead into a soft dough using water.
Divide the dough into portions and make a thin long roll with each portion.
Steam for about 20 minutes.
Cool and cut into slices.
To have crisp spinach dumplings, deep fry the slices to a golden brown color.


Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Healthy, delicious and oh-so-simple to make… the corn bhel will rule the roost as one of the all time favourite snack!

Preparation Time : 15 mins.
Cooking Time : 5 mins.

Serves 4.

1½ cups boiled tender corn kernels
2 medium potatoes, boiled and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
½ cup chopped onions
1 to 2 green chillies, chopped
a pinch asafoetida (hing)
½ cup chopped tomatoes
juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oil
salt to taste
For the garnish
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the cumin seeds and allow them to crackle.
2. Add the onions, green chillies, asafoetida and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, till the onions are translucent.
3. Add the tomatoes, corn, potatoes, lemon juice, coriander, sugar and salt and mix well.
4. Garnish with the coriander and serve immediately.


Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Preparation Time :  20-30 minutes
Cooking Time : 10 minutes
Servings : 4

Cottage cheese (paneer), 1 inch pieces – 300 grams
Red capsicums, seeded , 1 inch pieces – 2 medium
Green capsicums, seeded , 1 inch pieces – 2 medium
Onions, 1 inch pieces – 2 medium
Satay sticks – 12
Oil – 1 teaspoon + to shallow fry

Gram flour (besan) – 4 tablespoons
Hung yogurt – 2 tablespoons
Roasted cumin powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Black peppercorns, crushed – 3-4
Dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), crushed – 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon juice – 5 teaspoons
Salt – to taste
Saffron (kesar) , optional – a few strands

Mint chutney
as required

Heat one teaspoon oil in a pan and roast gramflour on low heat till fragrant Transfer it into a bowl. Add yogurt, roasted cumin powder, crushed black peppercorns, kasoori methi, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, lemon juice, salt and saffron (if using) and mix well. Add the paneer pieces and toss gently and set aside to marinate for ten to fifteen minutes. Take satay sticks. Arrange marinated ingredients in the following order: onion, paneer, green capsicum, red capsicum, paneer, onion. Repeat for the other sticks. Heat a shallow pan, drizzle some oil and place the satay sticks on it. Cook turning the satay sticks from time to time so that the paneer pieces are cooked with even colour. Serve hot with mint chutney.


Thursday, July 30th, 2009


2 cups paneer (cottage cheese), cut into 12mm. (½”) cubes
1 tsp chopped garlic
½ tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp chopped green chillies
1 tsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp soya sauce
½ tsp chilli sauce
2 tsp cornflour mixed with ½ cup water
4 tbsp oil
salt to taste

For the garnish

½ cup spring onion greens, chopped


1. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan on a high flame. Add the paneer cubes and cook on a high flame for a few minutes till the paneer is golden brown. Remove, drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.

2. In the same oil, add the garlic, ginger and green chillies and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the paneer cubes, tomato ketchup, soya sauce, chilli sauce and salt and mix well.

3. Add the cornflour paste to the mixture and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Serve hot garnished with the spring onion greens.