Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Navratri Recipes

Hey! I know it is late very late to post navratri recipes now.But want to share two new dishes I created this Navratri.I usually don't bother with too much cooking during fasting,usually raw food for me...but this time was really hubby, who has never fasted in life!!,also expressed his desire to fast during this auspicious time.His aim was to DETOX which we did .I will upload the detox cum navratri diet chart before the next navratri.

Navratri is the perfect time of the year to detox as the weather is about to change.You need to cleanse your body as per the season coming ahead to enjoy the nature's goodness showered during this particular time of the year---read groundnuts,chikkis & gajjaks,Alu-gobhi-mooli parathas(with dollops of butter..yummy),Pinnis ,Besan sheera for breakfast on chilly mornings....OK OK all this is not natural...but inpired by the season's bounty:-).

During the beginning and the end of the diet food tends to be slightly normalish so that the transition from diet food to normal food is smooth.During Navratri ,as per the notions one is supposed to have only one salted meal and that too without grainspulses--oinion-garlic etc etc.I came up with two phalahari(cereal free)complete Indian popular meals:

1.Malai Kofta with Sighara and Mooli Roti----Yes you read it right.Good old malai Kofta in navratri Fasting or should I say Feasting;-)
2. Kadhi Chawal.Yes I can't live without my weekly(Thursday)dose of Spicy Kadhi Pakora wiith hot fluffy rice.

This Time only later.Take Care

Monday, September 14, 2009


This carrot salad is full of natural goodness from carrots-Vit A and fibre primarily.Lemon jUice adds up for Vit c which also helps in absorbing the Iron from raisins....So it is a yummy multivitamin salad which is great looking and nutritious.

1.5 Cup Carrots grated
½ cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts/Almonds

½ tbsp honey
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice )or orange juice)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil(Optional)
salt and white pepper to taste


1. Blend all dressing ingredients together in blender adding olive oil a little at a time at end.
2. Mix carrots with raisins and toss with desired amount of dressing. Stir in nuts.

Option 1-Sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds on top for extra flavor and nutrition.

Option 2-add some fresh Pineapple/Apple cubes

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Goa Hangover

Hi again!

I am back with a recipe of Goan Fish Curry.The first time I savoured this delicacy was during my first visit to Goa..circa 2000.It was cooked specially for me by none other than Dr. Subodh Kerkar-an artist and hotelier.
It was a great honor to learn the recipe in the authentic way while understanding the finer differences of Goan Hindu and christian cooking. I simply enjoyed it with some plain boiled rice(from Dr.Kerkar's farm).Yummy I can still taste it .

The recipe given below is adapted as per our fast life and availibilty of ingredients in Delhi.(yes I know everything is available in INA market....but how often can you drive all the way and get it????????)
Ingredients:(For -3-4 persons/2 hungry people:-))
500 gms Fish -white pomfret/kingfish or any other white fish(With bone and skin or without bone and skin-your choice-Cut into 2-3 inch pieces)
1 Medium size Onion(chopped)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp tamarind paste/Kokum
salt to taste
Grind fine with a little water -
5-6 dry red Kashmiri chilies
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 Pkt Coconut Milk(I use Dabur)

Apply salt and turmeric to fish and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onion.Saute till transparent .Add ground paste with a cup of water. Bring to a boil on low heat. Add tamarind paste and season with salt.

Finally add fish pieces, bring to a second boil then simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot with Plain rice and kokum saar or sol kadhi.

This curry also tastes great when reheated for the next meal-just like Dal makhani. It is Kashmiri chillies and coriander that give Goan curries their color and texture.

Basically you need just some grinding and boiling skills to make this delectable curry..
PS:The same recipe can be used to make Goan Prawn Curry-Here you will need to replace Fish with shelled and deveined prawns.(frozen will do-smaller the better)

Kokum saar is served in all Goan homes and restaurants .It is a great appetiser and also balances body heat/acidity.

5-6 pieces of kokum
1-2 green chillies, slit
1 large garlic clove
salt and jaggery to taste
finely chopped Coriander leaves to garnish

Soak kokum in 2 cups of hot water for about 15 minutes. Mince garlic and add to strained kokum water .Add pepper if you like. Let it rest for an hour. Season with salt and jaggery. Garnish with finely chopped Coriander leaves at the time of serving.May be served chilled or at room temperature in some nice small Fancy glasses.

Just add a cup of coconut milk to Kokum Saar and omit jaggery.

My another favourite from Goa is Chicken Cafreal

A Popularly known as‘Galinha a cafreal’ or ‘Galinha a piri piri’ which came from the Portuguese colony of Mozambique in Africa.The marination resemble the Peri Peri sauce.It is fragrant with the spices and freshness of coriander and mint.


800gm-1Kg Chicken ( Preferrably Legs & Breast/whole chicken may also be used after cleaning the internal organs)
6 number Cloves
8 number Black Pepper Corns
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Garlic Paste
1 tbsp Ginger Paste
8 number Green Cardamom
6 number Green Chillies
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 cup Green Corriander Leaves (Use the accurate quantity)
1 cup Mint Leaves
4 tbsp Oil
to taste Salt
2 tbsp Vinegar /lime Juice
Peel of 1 Lemon to add to the citrusy flavor
Make incisions on the breast and legs.
Blend all the ingredients except the vinegar and oil in to a fine paste with minimum water.
Apply the paste to the chicken pieces and marinate for 2 - 3 hrs.
Now put the oil in the pan. Cook the chicken until golden brown.
When it is almost done, add vinegar/Lime juice and cook it for a few minutes.

( a zero oil method to Cook it is wrap the chicken with marination)in aluminium foil and roast in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes.Check for doneness and squeeze lemonjuice after removing from oven.
Garmish with onion rings. Serve hot with Tomato and cucumber salad.A popular accompaniment in Goan Restaurants is French Fries.Chicken Cafreal can be a yummy snack for your Cocktail parties and a good non veg accompaniment for a full fledged meal.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Basket exercise for Dinner under 30 minutes

Hi all,
Didn't feel like doing the regular dinner-Roti sabji dal chawal types-just need a break from the regular fare.Didn't even have theme in my mind...I am doing a lot of thai these days......thought about it....NO!!!Chinese No...not again...Then what???

Hey bring out the chef in you...Sonal!Do something new..A basket exercise..-This what I told myself...and didin't feel lazy (read tired after a hectic day)
A basket Exercise is something which I used to do for the Chef Competitions during is fun.You have to bring out a menu ,a creative balanced menu out of the basket of ingredients provided to you...Basket can have could be lucky or plain unlucky.
Hey I was lucky.I had tomatoes ,French beans ,frozen corn,potatoes and cottage cheese in my basket.Yeah !Great!!
I made Bean and Corn salad,Cottage Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes and crisp potato wedges all under 30 minutes.The result was a yummy healthy dinner.And yes all the recipes original.
Here are the recipes:

All ingredients are for two persons.
Stuffed Tomatoes with Cottage Cheese
4-5 Medium sized Tomatoes
1.5 Cups fresh cottage cheese(Grated or crumbled with hands-Hands are the best tools:-))
2 Tbsp roasted sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp Chopped Coriander leaves
1 tsp grated ginger
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut tomatoes into half longitudinally and scoop out the seeds.
Rub a little salt inside the tomato halve .Just enough to salt the tomato flesh,the stuffing has its own salt.arrange them upside down till you preapare the that extra juice may ooze out.
To prepare the stuffing :
Take crumbled/Grated cottage cheese in a bowl.add ginger,coriander ,roasted sesame seeds,salt and pepper.Mix well .Taste for seasoning.
To Assemble:
Upturn the tomato halves and fill the stuffing,making a dome ..a not a very high one above the tomato halves.
Tomatoes are ready to go into the Microwave for 5-6 Minutes an a HIGH setting.You can do it just while you are setting the dinner plates to get hot steamy stuffed tomatoes as your healthy -Zero oil,vegatarian maincourse.
Roasted seasame add a new dimension to the taste combined with ginger.

Crisp Potato Wedges.

4 Medium sized Potatoes
2 Garlic pods
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt Pepper to taste
Oregano/Mixed herbs/pizza seasoning as per taste

Wash potatoes and prick the with afork.Cook them on Micro High for 6 minutes.Cool and cut intu quarters with peel.
Crush the garlic pods and mix lemon juice,olive oil...looks loke salad dressing...hey sweets it is the salad dressing!
Preheat oven to 270 degrees centigrate.
Arrange poatato quarters on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.Brush with the salad dressing you will have nearly half of it left...which will be used for both the dishes will not have the same flavor.In potatoes the dressin---garlic,lemon juice and oil are cooked whereas in the salad you get the uncooked flavors...which are yum!!!
After brushing them liberally with the dressing.Grill them in the oven till they bake to a crisp golden brown.will take 5-8 minutes .Turn in between, if necessary.

Corn and French Beans Salad
1 Cup Frozen Corn
A handful of French Beans
Leftover dressing form previous recipe....It can't get simpler that this:-)

Heat a pan with three cups of water.Wash corn and beans separately.Cut beans into bite sized pieces after topping and tailing.
Add salt in boiling water .Put beans in water first Blanch for five minutes.Add corn on top and let it boil for 2-3 minutes.Strain and transfer to a serving bowl.Pour dressing and voila your salad is ready.Serve it warm in winters and cold in summers.