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.

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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 !

Soup Yourself!

Mulligatawny-ish soup with Bulgur

Mulligatawny-ish Lentils & Bulgur Soup

Its extreme soup weather and lucky for me I only have to deal with it for a week longer. Decembers in Bombay used to feel cold at one point but I’m hoping that these several New York winters have finally cured that problem of mine.

I have a long list of foods that I can’t wait to eat while there with “maa ke haath ka khana” (mom-made food), kathi roll at my sister’s & Joginder’s Chai fighting for the top spot!! Although I take pride in being a born & bred Bombaite (notice i didn’t say Mumbai?), lately I feel like a tourist with all these new cafes and restaurants popping up on every corner (or should I say in every mill?). Hoping to cure that problem too, so recommendations are very welcome!

Now back to this recipe which is a healthier spin on the classic mulligatawny soup made instantly in the Instant Pot.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1″ piece ginger, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup mixed frozen veggies (carrots, green beans, etc)
  • 1/2 cup Tur dal + 1/2 cup masoor dal + 1/2 cup red bulgur (washed and soaked for about 30 minutes)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 – 2 tsp cayenne powder (optional 🌶)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

PreparationTurn the Instant Pot on Sauté mode.

  • Add the oil, cumin seeds and curry leaves and let them crackle. Add the asafoetida, onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, coconut and the veggies one after the other in this particular order and Sauté till golden brown.
  • Add the soaked dal & bulgur mixture.
  • Add 3 cups of water.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and close the lid.
  • Place on soup mode and adjust time to 15 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Once you open the lid, add 3 cups of hot water and mix. Adjust the consistency & seasoning and serve warm with a wedge of lime.