Thursday 30 August 2007

Mung / Moong jo shaak / Mung Bean Curry

This a quick proteinacious week day meal. My students from Saudi Arabia tell me that this is prison food. That is to say prisoners get mung beans for their meals! Well, mung bean curry has been one of my favs since I was a child. That and Mung Bean Soup (recipe soon).

1 cup dried mung beans; soaked overnight and boiled, mung bean cook very quickly so you don't need to pressure cook
1 onion; finely chopped
3 Cloves garlic; peeled and minced
2 inch ginger; peeled and grated
3 tomatoes; blanched, peeled and chopped
2 - 3 chilies slit through the centre
1/2 tspn tumeric powder
2 tspn coriander and cumin powders
2 tspn oil
salt to taste
1 tblspn chopped coriander for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions, cook until golden brown, then add the split chilies, let them splutter.
2. Add the tomotatoes, garlic and ginger cook for 5-6 minutes, add tumeric, coriander and cumin powders, cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the boiled beans, with the water the beans were boiled in
5 Cover and cook, until nice and thick, add coriander mix and serve.
I served it with mani / chappatti

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday 28 August 2007

Awards and MEME


Recently I was nominated by Zusana of Zlamushka’s Spice Kitchen and Richa of As Dear As Salt for Rockin' Girl Blogger

Who knew I rocked?!? Thank you girls for thinking of me.

As I got this award from two different people, I can nominate 10 bloggers!!






Kelly Mahoney





All the above are constantly encouraging me by commenting on my blog. Thank you. You all Rock!!


I always thought MEME meant “me me”, all about me. Anyway I looked it up on wiki and it means “A meme, (IPA: /mi:m/) as defined within memetic theory, comprises a unit of cultural information, the building block of cultural evolution or diffusion that propagates from one mind to another analogously to the way in which a gene propagates from one organism to another as a unit of genetic information and of biological evolution.[1] Multiple memes may propagate as cooperative groups called memeplexes (meme complexes). ….” A MEME Tag according to Wiki is “is a blog tag that is included in all posts that reference a meme. When a meme is started on a blog — for example, 'your top five favourite movies' — the meme tag is included at the foot of the text of each post that responds to the meme invitation. By including a memetag, bloggers are recognising the initial creator of the meme and allowing them to track how their meme has spread across the blogosphere through the use of social media tools such as Technorati.”

Any way, I have been tagged for this MEME by Sirisha of Ambrosia....Indian indulgances and

The rules are as follows (straight out of Sirisha’s blog).

You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

* Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

* When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.

* At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

As I don’t have a middle name, I am choosing the first part of my nephews name – Pyar which means love. Pyarali is emigrating to Australia with his parents, I am so going to miss him and this brother Sean.

Sean and Pyarali

P is for Painting, both watercolour and mixed media are my passion, recently I have neglected my art. My sister Pari, got me into painting, she gave me some watercolours 15 years ago, so Thank you P.

This meme is to get me back into painting. I recently had my house extended ie My loft converted into a large studio, so I should be painting like mad shouldn’t I?

Y is for All of YOU who read my blog, comment on it and try my recipes. I love cooking, and entertaining.

A is for Airplane – another thing I love to do is travel, one of my best travels was the first time I went to China, about 3 years ago, when I got to travel by train (my best mode of travel) a lot. We took the train from Beijing to Shanghai to Nanjing. Then travelled up the Yangtze river in a cruise boat eventually reaching Xian. Great trip. I went to China again last year this time; the south, and also went to Singapore, Kuala Lampur, Jakarta and Cambodia, if that was not enough I also went to Switzerland, Ireland, Portugal and Italy. This year so far I have travelled to Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal, Boston and Maine. Later this year I may go to St Petersburg in Russia and to Dubai in UAE. My travel is both through my work and for leisure. I am a scientist and at least once a year I present my work at conferences and meetings

R is for reading, I am an avid reader.

Reading now: Red Dust by Ma Jian, this was a gift from Anja. Thank you Anja, I love it.

Last read; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Next to be read: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I would like to tag.

Aly of A Treat a Week

Lia of Spices Corner

Padma of Padma’s Kitchen

Rajita of Hunger Pangs

Zusana of Zlamushka’s Spice Kitchen

Sunday 26 August 2007

Couscous with Tindora and Red Pepper

1 cup couscous
1 and 1/4 cup water
1 cup tindora; washed and sliced in rounds,
1 red romana pepper; sliced into rounds
1 large or 2 small tomatoes; diced
1 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 tspn cumin seeds
5 curry leaves
2 tspn vegetable oil

1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds and the curry leaves, fry for about a minute, or until the seeds pop.
2. Add the sliced tindora and peppers, fry for about 6-7 minutes, and add the tomatoes, stir and cook for a further 5 minutes.
3, Add the couscous, mix and add the water, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Separate the grains using a fork.
I served my with masala fish; recipe to come.

Friday 24 August 2007

Jahni Alu Rye / Ridge-gourd in a Mustard Sauce

This was a brainchild of Laksmi of Veggie Cuisine
This is my entry for JFI Oriya Cooking. Swapna from Swad is hosting for this event.

Oriya cooking is very new to me, I bought Laxmi Parida's Purba: Feast from the East book, but I must admit I did not find it very useful. Despite the good reviews on Amazon, I found it very difficult to follow. In the end, I just googled and found this recipe. Reference at the end of the page.


2 medium sizes ridge gourds; peeled and sliced into half moon slices
1 tomato; chopped

6 small new potatoes; boil in their skin, and sliced in ½ inch rounds
1 onion; chopped fine
1 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 garlic cloves
½ tspn coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste


1. Mix the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper and garlic with a ½ cup water, and grind in food processer.

2. Heat the oil in a pan, fry the onion until golden brown

3. Add the ridge gourd and tomatoes. Mix well

4. Add the potatoes; mix

5. Add the mustard mixture and salt, mix well.

6. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes

7. Serve hot with chapatis or parathas.

I have adapted this recipe from this website

Wednesday 22 August 2007

Prawn and Leek Gyoza

I made these for Zayn's birthday party, because I know he loves them.


1 packet of gyoza / dumpling pastry (from Chinese / Japanese Store)
1 lb peeled prawns (little ones)
1 leek; chopped fine
1 inch ginger; grated
3 clove garlic; mince
1 tbspn light soya sauce
1 tbspn sesame oil
1 tbspn oyster sauce
1 egg

dipping sauce
1/2 cup light soya sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tbspn mirin
1 tblspn sesame oil
1 tspn chili flakes

1. Mix together all the filling ingredients.

2. Place a tspn of this mixture on the dumpling pastry, brush the edges of the pastry with water, fold in half, press together, making some pleats in the front of the gyoza. I was able to make about 40.

3. Place the gyoza in a hot, previously sprayed frying pan, cover and cook for about 1 minute, turn and cook for a further minute. Repeat until all the gyoza are fried.
4. Put one layer of gyoza back in the hot pan, add a little water so that it is half way up the gyoza. Cover and cook until the water has evaporated. Repeat until all the gyoza are done.

For the the dipping sauce: mix everything, microwave for about 30 secs so that the sauce is warm.
Serve the dumpling hot with the sauce.
These turned out delcious and were eaten by my family (of 12) with minutes!

Sunday 19 August 2007

A Mad Puri Party

Anita is having a puri party at the Mad Mad Tea Party Place. I just could not resist it anymore, must have some puri and join the party!

Khari Puri, with Aubergine Curry

And Masala Puri with my nephews; Pyarali and Sean, I miss them (they are in Toronto now)

Saturday 18 August 2007

Bharela Kerala / Stuffed Bitter Gourd

This is what we had for supper on Thursday.

6 -8 bitter gourds
1 cup gram (chickpea) flour
1 small onion; choped fine
1 large tomato; blanched, peeled and mashed
2 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 tspn tumeric powder
2 teaspn cumin/coriander powder
1 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 tspn cumin seeds

1. Add onions, garlic, tumeric and cumin/coriander powders to the gram flour, mix and then add enough water to make a fairly thick batter.

2. Make a slit in each kerala / bitter gourd without spliting into two, scoop all the seed out with a teaspoon. Stuff the space with batter.

3. Heat some oil in a large frying pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds, after they have popped, add the tomatoes, stir and cook for a few minutes, gently place all the stuffed kerala in the pan and cover. (reduce the heat)

4. After about 10 minutes, turn them over, and cover the pan again. Cook for about 25 minutes altogether. We had it with kadhi, kitchri and chapatis
Publish Post

Friday 17 August 2007

Coconutty Lotus Root Curry

Lotus roots are roots of the lotus water lily, family Nymphaeaceae. The roots are tuberous, with large air pockets, which makes them buoyant in the water, and give the lacy pattern when sliced. It has a firm crispy texture. It can be stuffed, fried as chips or even eaten raw in salads. I first had lotus root in China in Kunming in March 2006, in the Yunan Province. I do have some pictures, which when I find I will post here.


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion; sliced into rings
2 tbsp green curry paste (according to taste; available in Asian stores)
400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
500gm lotus root (4 segments); peeled and sliced into ¼ inch rounds
8 small new potatoes; washed and sliced into ½ inch rounds
6-8 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces
½ cup holy or Thai basil leaves (tulsi)
1 cup of coriander, roughly chopped
1 lime; juiced


1. Wash the lotus root, discard the necks, peel and slice into ¼ inch slices, place in water with a little vinegar to stop them from oxidising; going brown.
Scrub the new potatoes and cut into half inch rounds.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions (I used up some leek as well) until golden brown, add the green curry paste over a fairly high heat for about a minute,
Reduce the heat slightly and add the thick part of the coconut milk from the tin, stir for a few minutes, add the rest of the coconut milk.

3. Add the lotus root, kaffir leaves and the coconut milk, bring to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes, add the potatoes, cook a further 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and the sauce is thickened. Stir in the holy basil (tulsi), coriander and lime juice.

Let it stand for 15 minutes, serve with rice

Wednesday 15 August 2007

Nawabi Pilau

In my opinion Cumin is a King of Spices. Nawabi Pilau means Pilau fit for a king, cumin being a king of spices, should surely play the leading role in this kingly dish.

This is my entry for Sunita of Sunita's World's Think Spice series

This is also my entry for JFI Rice, hosted by the lovely Sharmi of Neivedyam


1 cup rice (basmati); washed thoroughly and soaked for at least 30 minutes
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspn cumin
3 cloves
1 2 inch stick cinnamon
3 cardamom pods
6 whole peppercorns
1 large onion, minced
2 large tomatoes; blanched, peeled and chopped fine
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch piece of ginger; grated
2-3 green chilies; minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoons coriander powder
1 tablespoon of oil for the nuts
1 cup chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds and melon seeds), roughly
1 tablespoon raisins
salt to taste

1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns, let them pop.
2. Add the onions, fry until they are a rich brown, add the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and chillies. Mix and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the rice and the water, bring to boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile heat the oil and fry the nuts, and soak the saffron in a little warm milk or water

5. Add the nuts and saffron to the rice, and mix gently with a fork
Serve goes very well is roast lamb, although on this occasion I served it at a vegan meal.

Tuesday 14 August 2007

Vegan Maki Sushi

This is my entry for JFI Rice, hosted by the lovely Sharmi of Neivedyam

Sushi is made from short grain Japonica rice. This rice is very sticky when cooked. Sushi means vinegar rice. Maki sushi is rice rolled up in a sheet of nori (seaweed), with filling; normaly fish, but vegetables like cucumber, avacado and pepper work just as well.

1 cup Sushi Rice
1 1/4 cup Water
2 tbl spn Rice Vinegar
1 tspn Sugar
1/2 tspn Salt

(yields - 3-4 large rolls or 8-10 small rolls
B: TheRoll
4 sheets nori (seaweed)

Filling 1:
2 pieces of cucumber - same length at the the nori sheet
8 pieces of red and yellow peppers
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Wasabi sauce
Filling 2:
2 pieces Yard long beans cut to size and steamsed for 5 minutes
strips of pickled ginger
Japanese plum sauce

sesame oil

You can use avacado too, I didn't as I made them the night before and I did not want it to go brown.

C: For serving
pickled ginger
soya sauce
wasabi sauce

D: Equipment
Bamboo sushi rolling mat
Really sharp serrated knife

1. Wash rice and rinse well. Boil in water with a little salt for 10 minutes.
2. Leave for 15-20 minutes, keep the pan covered.
3. Place the cooked rice in a large pyrex / glass bowl.
4. Mix the vinebar, sugar and salt and slowly mix it into the rice, a little bit at a time, taking care not to break the rice grains.
Let the rice cool to room temperature
5. Meantime prepare the vegertables into 1/2 inch strips
6. Lay the nori sheet; shiny side down, on the bamboo mat
7. Place a large handful (with wet hands) of rice, and flatten, leaving a 1 inch space at the top and bottom ,
8. Make an indentation a third of the way, and smear either wasabi or plum sauce in the indentation, place the filling there and roll with the help of the mat. Stick the end with water.
The trick is to have everything ready, and then assemble. It is not that difficult, but not too easy either, after the first one it gets easier.
Cool the rolls in the fridge until required.
9. Slice rolls into 1/2 to 3/4 thick and serve with soya sauce, and wasabi paste for dipping.
Each person mixes their own dipping sauce in small dipping containers. Pickled ginger is served to clean the palate between different rolls.

Sunday 12 August 2007

Lunch today

Here arre the pics from my vegan lunch today. I forgot to take a picture of the pani puri and kaala chana chat and lapsi. The gyoza were a bit of a disaster (more about that later).

From left clockwise: Sushi, Nawaabi Pilau, Sweetcorn and pepper shaak, Lotus Root in Coconut Curry.

Recipes are on they way.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday 9 August 2007

Vegan Lunch: A Menu

Hi Everyone,
Next Sunday, I will be cooking lunch for my vegan friends. This should not be very difficult because a lot of Indian cooking is vegetarian. I just have to omit the dairy and the eggs, should not be difficult right?! ;)
It is amazing how often we use yogurt or butter / ghee in our cooking, but I can get soya yogurt and use vegetable oil or margerine.
This is my tentative menu. I am after suggestions and constructive critisism from by readers and fellow bloggers.

The theme is Asian cuisine, I am mixing and matching as I want to try new things for my blog - of course :)

Vegan Sushi (my entry for JFI: Rice),
The fillings I thought of are: cucumber / sweet peppers - other suggetions welcome.
Vegan Gyoza / pot stickers stuffed with shikate mushroom/spring onion mix
Pani puri with Kaala Chana chat

Main Courses
Lotus root / Potato Green Curry
Sweetcorn and red and green peppers in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

Rice - I am not sure whether plain or a shahi pilau type thing -advise please

Vegan Lapsi with lots of nuts and dried fruit

Wednesday 8 August 2007

Sweet Corn and Red Pepper in a Spicy Tomato Sauce / Curry

I am going to try and cook as much seasonal food as I can. Corn on the cob are in season at the moment. I got these at 3 for £1.

2 tbspn oil
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 cumin seeds
3 large tomatoes; blanched peeled and liquidised; or 200gm tin of peeled tomatoes; liquidised
2 tspn tomato pure
2 tspn grated ginger
3 tspnn minced garlic
1 red chille; minced
2 red romano peppers; diced
2 corn on the cob; boiled and kernals removed with a sharp knife4 large tomatoes; blanched,
1 tspn cumin powder
2 tspn coriander powder
1/2 tspn tumeric
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

1.Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard and cumin seeds let the seed pop.
2. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli, give a good stir
3. Add the fresh tomatoes, stir and cook for about five minutes;
4. Add the tumeric,cumin and coriander, mix and cook for a few minutes.
5. Add the sweet corn, red pepper , tomato puree, salt and water. Cook for 15 minutes.
I served it with masala paratha (recipe to come soon)

Monday 6 August 2007

Nutty Stir-fried green beans with noodles

This is my entry for Mallugirls' Express Cooking Event.

I used yard / long beans, but you can use string / french / green beans. Your can also use frozen beans. I have also added pine nuts and melon seeds for protein, but any nut will do. This recipe serves 4.

1 lb yard-long beans
1 tablespoon oil
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbspn melon seeds
3 cloves garlic; minced
2 inch ginger; grated
2 chllies; minced
1 table spoon soya sauce
4 Bricks of Noodles / or enough fo 4 people
1 tspn sesame oil
salt to taste

Start: Heat some water in a kettle
5.00 minutes: Top and tail the beans and cut the beans into 2-3 inch pieces, (I processed six at a time).
5.00 minutes: Steam beans using the boiled water, for five minutes or microwave according to instructions/
Meanwhile Heat the oil in a large pan or wok and add the nuts, garlic, ginger and chilli, cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the soya sauce.
Add the steamed beans mix and turn down the heat.
2 minutes: Boil the noodles in salted e hot water (use the same water), I used quick cook noodles, so 2 minutes was enough.
2 miniutes: Add the sesame oil to the beans, and mix the drained noodles.

Serve and Enjoy
Total time 15 minutes

Saturday 4 August 2007

Zatari salsa in a Chapatti Wrap

This is my entry for Nupur A-Z series

Zatar Recipe

1/2 cup thyme
1/4 cup sumac
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Mix all the ingredients, and grind to a coarse powder.

This will keep in a sealed jar for about 2 months.
To use: mix 1-2 tblsps of zaatar with 1-2 tblsps extra-virgin olive oil and spread on warm, toasted bread. or pitta bread.
Grind the sesame seeds in food processor or with mortar and pestle. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Zaatari Feta and Tomato Salsa

2 tomatoes; finely chopped
½ small onion; finely chopped
2oz feta cheese; crumbled
1 tbspn zatar
coriander to garnish
Mix all the ingredients, and microwave for 2 miniutes
Spread on a chapatti, sprinkle some black pepper (or chilli flakes) roll and enjoy

Shown here with Roast Zucchini, just to add an extra Zed or Zee!!


I have been obsessing with Z z z z z z z z all week. For Nupur A-Z series of course. So I looked in my Larousse Gastronmique. I love that book, it is a cook’s bible.

Here are some of what I found (I have left out things like Zampone; made from pig’s trotters!).

Zabaglione is a light foamy Italian dessert made from egg yolk, wine and sugar.

Zafaran is kesar, saffron is stigma of a crocus flower, more expensive than gold in weight to weight basis

Zamorano cheese comes from Zamorano in Spain, made from sheep milk, it is similar to manchego cheese with a nutty flavour.

Zatar is a Middle Eastern spice mix of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds, it is believed to be good for the brain, apparently children are given this on a slice of bread before an exam or tests!!

Zest is the rind of citrus fruit containing aromatic oils, lemon or orange are commonly used,

Zinfandel, is a variety of grape which is used for wine.

Zingara is a sauce made with tomatoes and paprika, zingara means ‘gipsy’ in Italian

Ziti is a thick tubular pasta, ziti means fiancée, and is apparently traditionally served at Italian weddings.

Zucchini is courgette. We call it courgette and the Americans call it zucchini

Zuppa Ingles, literally means English soup is in fact a dessert very similar to trifle, it is made sponge cake, soaked in rum, layered with cream and custard.

So I have a bit of a choice………… too much choice! By the end of today I will have made something, don’t what yet! And this time I will not miss-type Nupur email address, and not get my dish on the A-Z list!!

Thursday 2 August 2007

Easy Gifts for Foodies

If you have a good recipe of muffins, brownies or cookies. You can make great gifts in a jar, by layering the ingredients.

1. Weigh out or measure the ingredients
2. Carefully layer in a 16oz jar.
3. Print out a Label with the instructions and stick on jar
4. Cover the lid with so pretty fabric andrubberband or ribbon

Wednesday 1 August 2007

Channa Dal ne Dudhi jo Shaak / Spicy Split Chickpeas and Bottle Gourd Curry

1 cup split chickpeas or channa dal; washed and soaked overnite
1 large onion; chopped finely
3 large tomatoes; blanched, peeled and chopped
1 dudhi / bottle gourd; peeled and diced.
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 inch ginger; grated
2 green chillis; minced
1/2 tspn tumeric powder
2 heaped tspns coriander/cumin powder
Salt to taste
1 tbspn chopped coriander

1 Fry the onions until golden brown, add the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and chillis, cook for about 10 minutes until it is blended together.
2. Add the tumeric, coriander and cumin powders, stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
3. Add the the dal (add a tblspn of water if neccesary), and cook for about 20 minutes
4. Add the diced dudhi, stir and cook for a furhter 10 minutes
Garnish with Coriander, serve with chapatis.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape