The Savory Shot

Spiced Red Lentils & carrot soup with grilled blue cheese fingers

Spiced Red Lentils & Carrot Soup with Grilled Blue Cheese Fingers

In my opinion (I do have way too many) there are 3 different kinds of Soup people in this world.

1. The Broth people: How any human being doesn’t need a meal 10 minutes after having a bowl of brothy soup is beyond me. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

2. The Chunky Soup people: Oh and call it Soup all you want, that’s a whole entire meal and you know it.

3. The Thick Soup people: It’s Purée. Call it Purée. I belong to this category but I’ll be honest and call it Purée. Just own it.

Know any more Soup people kinds? I’d love to hear all about them.

But for now here’s my new Spiced Red Lentils & Carrot Soup recipe and it’s made instantly in the Instant Pot. I decided to serve it in a shot glass with some Grilled Blue Cheese fingers but feel free to have it your way. Quick, easy, and pretty appetizers are my favorite kind. This ones quite healthy too because there’s no cream or butter. Sure you can add some if you’re into that but I can guarantee you won’t be needing any. I recommend you eat this meal clean but that’s again, just my opinion.

Ingredients (soup)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (masoor dal), washed & soaked
  • 2 cups water + extra to adjust the consistency.
  • Salt
  • Pepper (freshly ground is better)
  • 1-2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon sugar

Preparation

  1. Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode. Heat the oil. Add all the ingredients in order and mix.
  2. Close the lid and seal.
  3. Set on soup mode for 8 minutes.
  4. Let the pressure release naturally.
  5. Blend once slightly cool and adjust the consistency & seasoning.

Ingredients (grilled blue cheese fingers)

  • Whole grain bread slices
  • Crumbled blue cheese
  • Olive oil

Preparation

  1. Sandwich a healthy amount of crumbled blue cheese in between 2 slices of bread
  2. Drizzle some olive oil on a hot frying pan.
  3. Grill the sandwich on low to medium heat for an even golden brown color.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil on the top slice before flipping it over. Takes about 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Let it rest on the chopping board for a couple minutes before cutting them into appropriately half inch sized fingers.
  6. Serve with hot soup, shot glasses optional of course!
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Holi Thi!

Coconut Laddoo Macaron

Coconut Laddoo Macarons

I know, this post is at least a week overdue. But I officially went back to work after a 7 year long sabbatical so cut me some slack won’t you?

Say hello to the new bartender at one of the cutest Rooftop bars in Manhattan! So while I should have been making laddoos for Holi for my one and only mini halwai, I was busy shaking up some cocktails for thirsty tourists (who by the way, don’t really get the American tipping system that well!)

So let’s get back to my almost Holi mithai-macarons. These are not as complicated as you might have heard but then they’re not authentically French either so that might give you some confidence to bring out those oven mits and give it a try. I used my trusty Kingarthur flour macaron recipe for the shells so posting the link to it. 👇🏻 (just follow the shell recipe, filling recipe’s on the bottom*)

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/macarons-recipe

*For the coconut laddoo filling, follow the following recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 can (8oz) sweetened condensed milk

Preparation

  1. On a low flame, dry roast the coconut till golden brown, preferably in a non stick saucepan.
  2. Add the condensed milk and keep stirring till the mixture is semi dry but not too dry.
  3. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Fill in the centers of the macaron shells.

Note: This mixture is a lot harder than your average cream based fillings so gently place the top shell on top and resist the urge to push them together. They will crack. Trust me.

Chicken curry for the soul

Coconut Chicken Curry (Instant Pot)

Coconut Chicken Curry

Okay, let’s get one thing straight. This ain’t no butter chicken but it’s definitely better chicken. It’s delicious, easy, quick and a whole lot healthier. It’s the kind of chicken recipe you need when you have a 6 year old who thinks you’re some sort of a genie who can just blink some dinner into existence at the shortest notice. Well it’s not exactly as easy as blinking but it comes pretty close if you have an Instant Pot.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp each of mustard & cumin seeds
  • 1/2 red onion (large), chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 8 chicken drumsticks, skinless
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp sambhar masala (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14oz) can lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Preparation

  1. Instant Pot on the sauté mode, heat the oil and fry the seeds, onions, garlic & ginger.
  2. Add the chicken and sauté till they turn golden brown.
  3. Add the spices and seasoning.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and coconut milk.
  5. Stir and close the lid while sealing.
  6. Turn the Instant Pot on Manual mode and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Let the pressure release naturally.
  8. Simmer for a couple minutes on sauté mode so the curry thickens.
  9. Add the cilantro and it’s ready to go!

The great bean pancake story!

Savory Edamame Pancakes

Savory Edamame Pancakes

To be honest, I tried making a new healthier dosa batter using some edamame & oats but the situation got pretty sticky, literally! So I improvised. Best decision ever. Okay, maybe not best decision ever but definitely the best decision in the moment.

I used some standard uttapam toppings for these pancakes but feel free to go nuts with your own variations. Sesame seeds, pickled ginger, bell peppers, truffle butter… I can go on but I’ll let you figure out the minor details!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats, preferably gluten free (soaked for a couple minutes and drained)
  • 2 cups edamame, shelled
  • Water to grind
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1-2 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Pepper to taste
  • Oil/butter to cook
  • Chopped onions + cilantro + green chili for topping

Preparation

  1. Grind the edamame and oats to a smooth paste using some water.
  2. The batter needs to be pancake consistency.
  3. Add the spices and seasoning and mix.
  4. Heat a Dosa griddle/ non stick frying pan.
  5. Add ladle fulls of batter to make pancakes, measuring about 3 inches in diameter.
  6. Add the toppings of ur choice on top. Add a teaspoon full of oil/butter around each pancake and flip them over once they start to brown around the edges.
  7. Flip them back around once the underside is golden brown.
  8. Serve hot with your favorite chutney!

The Manhattan Story!

Manhattan Ice Cream

Manhattan Ice Cream

When you spend over a certain amount of time at a bar, shaking up the cocktails and not drinking them, liquor is pretty much all that flashes in your brain at the end of the day. So when I decided to stir up some quick fix ice cream, booze was literally the natural response.

Don’t worry, I made some PG rated stuff for the kiddo too. Toblerone swirl!! Of course the kiddo made some horror stuff in return for me. Cheeto-Toblerone-smash! But that’s just my Karma. And a very true story.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream (chilled)
  • 16 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4-5 oz bourbon
  • 1-2 oz sweet vermouth

Preparation

  1. Whisk the heavy cream with an electric mixer in a large bowl till soft peaks form.
  2. Gently fold in the condensed milk.
  3. Fold in the booze.
  4. Pour the mix in a container and freeze for at least 6 to 8 hours.
  5. Serve with maraschino cherries!! Cheers

Note: alcohol doesn’t really freeze the same way so don’t panic if the ice Cream is more soft-serve consistency!

Not Cold Turkey

Instant Pot Turkey Kheema

Instant Pot Turkey Kheema

I’m a sucker for red meat but I love my heart a little more than I love red meat. So once in a while I improvise, after all, kheema is kheema so why discriminate? Turkey cooks a lot faster too so there’s your reason number 2. You could stick it on a piece of toast, stuff it in a hotdog bun, wrap it as a kati roll or just eat it straight like chili! Cooks in under 10 mins and never fails to impress. Need more reasons or should I get on with it?

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp each of cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds
  • 4-5 pepper corns
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 14 oz package lean minced turkey
  • 3-4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1- 2 tbsp paprika powder
  • 2 tbsp Pav Bhaji masala (my favorite)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup water

Preparation

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté mode and add the oil.
  2. Add the seeds and the whole garam masala.
  3. Sauté the onions. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté till they turn golden brown.
  4. Add the turkey and sauté for a couple more minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients including the water and close the lid.
  6. Turn it on meat and stew mode and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Do a quick release and serve hot with your choice of sides.

All Crunch No Play

Pecorino, Parsley & Smoked Paprika Wadas

Pecorino, Parsley & Smoked Paprika Wadas

A) Don’t judge, I’ve been living in sub zero temperatures for far too long .I deserve to indulge a little.

B) I’m just about perfect (relatively speaking) so why bother with resolutions?

C) Try saying NO to a highly opinionated 6 year old when he comes up with a recipe, which he guarantees, can beat Bobby Flay!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/4 cup oats flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina
  • 1/4 cup grated/powdered pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt because of the garlic salt and cheese)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Oil for frying

Preparation

  1. Add all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. (Not the oil)
  2. The batter should be almost the same consistency as cookie dough.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium flame.
  4. Once the oil is hot, drop about teaspoon fulls of batter in a single layer. Not too many at once.
  5. Flip over once they’re slightly brown.
  6. Cook till the fritters are golden brown. Strain and repeat the process.
  7. Serve hot with an extra sprinkle of smoked paprika. (According to chef Karm)

My Cup of Tea!

Masala Chai Mug Cake

Masala Chai Mug Cake

I’m a coffee kinda person. A black cup of extra strong coffee kinda person. But when you leave the warmth of Bombay and land in the sub-zero temperatures of NYC, even the non-sentimental ones like me start dreaming of “Joginder ke haath ki garam Chai”! And throw in a common cold in that equation (seriously, a math related example?) plus a little bit of PMS (ok maybe not a little) and the next thing you’re coming up with the perfect mug cake a hungry soul can ask for! Try it yourself!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened masala Chai (extra strong made with whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chai masala
  • Cooking spray for the Mug

Preparation

  1. whisk all the wet ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and gently mix till the batter is lump free. (Gently if you want a soft cake)
  3. Spray a microwave safe mug with cooking spray. (Or grease it the old fashioned way, I don’t mind)
  4. Pour the batter in the mug.
  5. Microwave it for 110 seconds. (90 if you like a runny center)
  6. Serve hot with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream/ whipped cream.

The Edible Lace

Oats and Rava Dosa

Oats & Rava Dosa with Korean Chili Thread & Pickled Ginger

I’m back. 3 weeks without cooking has been pretty rough but I’m alive. India, of course was incredible as usual. Good food, great conversations, thick smog and zero boundaries. That being said, blizzard not withstanding, it’s great to be back home.

Time to cook some crazy food. Keeping it clean this time since I brought back some unwanted lbs with me and I don’t mean my luggage.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup oats flour
  • 2+1/2 cups water
  • 1 inch chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • Salt to taste
  • pickled ginger (topping)
  • Black sesame seeds (topping)
  • Korean chili thread (topping)
  • Ghee/oil/butter to cook

Preparation

  1. Add all the ingredients except for the toppings in a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.
  2. The batter is supposed to be a lot runnier than your regular Dosa batter. (Pouring consistency)
  3. Heat a Dosa pan or a non stick griddle. It has to be pretty hot for the Dosa to stick and get crispy.
  4. Pour a ladle full of batter in a circle starting from the outside, moving towards the center. No need to fill the holes. This is supposed to be lacey.
  5. Add some ghee/oil/butter to the edges to help loosen the Dosa and get a crispy texture.
  6. Add the toppings as per your taste. Remove with a spatula once brown. Fold over and serve hot.

Green Eggs & Slam

Palak Shakshouka

Palak Shakshouka

Hello from the land of misal pao & kadak Chai! So amazing to be back home this time of the year. But I guess everyone feels that way considering the maddening traffic outside! So far, the only thing off the bucket list is Chai, but I’m on it. As a favor to my waistline, I tried eating healthy before I left for my trip to Bombay, and here’s one of those #eatclean recipes if you’re on a binge mission like moi this December!

Shakshouka meets palak paneer, without the paneer because Paneer is my least favorite kind of cheese. (Is it cheese even ?) Never mind that, I’m focusing on the better things in life, like Eggs!! Eggs never let you down (unless you nuke them in the microwave in a hurry) I made my palak in the Instant Pot but you can definitely use your own family recipe. (Or take out, I never judge)

Ingredients (for healthier palak of the palak paneer fame)

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 pack frozen chopped spinach
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1-2 tbsp chhole masala (trust me)
  • 1 cup skim milk

Preparation (for healthier palak of the palak paneer fame)

  1. Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode .
  2. Add the oil, seeds, onions and Sauté until brown.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste, tomatoes, spices and mix. Let it cook for a minute.
  4. Add the spinach and milk.
  5. Cover with the lid while sealing and turn to Manual. Adjust the time to 5 minutes.
  6. Quick release once the beeper goes off. Let it cool a little and grind to a coarse paste. (I used my Ninja Mixer)
  7. In a small iron skillet/non stick pan, pour about enough palak curry so its half full (or half empty if you’re one of those)
  8. Crack 2 or 3 eggs over it. Cover and cook till the eggs are cooked (about 10 minutes on medium to low heat)
  9. Serve with some whole grain bread !