17 April 2012

Oats and Wheat Thins


3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cornflour/ rice flour
2 tbsp. yellow corn meal
2 tsp milk powder
1/4 C quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 tsp cumin seeds /zeera
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp kasoori methi
1/2 tsp. seasame seeds/ til
1/4 tsp. turmeric pdr /haldi
salt to taste
Oil for frying.


Mix all the ingredients together and add enough water to make a firm dough.
Knead the dough gently until smooth.Roll out, using a little whole wheat flour to 2 mm. thickness. Cut them into squares using a knife.

Deep fry in hot oil untill golden on both sides, drain on a paper towel. Cool and store in an air-tight container or serve hot with ketchup or any chutney. I love to serve them with cool n fresh sour cream.

You can also bake them if you want.

Preheat oven to 325 deg F

Place crackers on a greased baking tray and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown.

The crackers will appear a little soft when hot, but will get crisp once they cool

Enjoy !

16 April 2012

Sabudana Wada


1/2 C Sabudana,
1 C boiled and mashed potatoes
1/2 t Zeera/ Cumin
1/3 C peanuts, roasted and slightly crushed(I use rolling pin to crush mine)
1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 t chilli pdr (adjust this to your taste)
6-8 curry leaves , finely chopped
3 T coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
salt , to taste

Oil , for frying.

Method :

Clean, wash and soak the sago in approx. 1/3 cup of water for about 4 to 5 hours or till all the water is absorbed and the sago swells.

Drain the sago n make sure there is no excess water.

Now add the sago , potatoes, zeera, chilli pdr, salt, peanuts, curry leaves, cilantro and lemon juice and mix untill combined  or knead lightly. If you are using hands to mix be very carefull , dont mash the sago

Take approx 2 - 3 tablespoon sago mixture n shape it like a patty.

Shallow fry in hot oil till golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towel.

Serve hot with cilantro/mint chutney,  ketchup or sweet yogurt chutney which is made  by beating yogurt with a litte bit of sugar.

You can also add finely chopped green chillies instead of chilli pdr. 

Make Ahead Tip :

The Sago mixture can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for about 2-3 days. Just bring it to room temperature before you fry

I am sending this to Anyone Can Cook event by Ayesha.

12 April 2012

Homemade Shrikhand


2 C Yogurt
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
a pinch saffron
1/4 C sliced almonds/pistachios(or any nuts you like)


Drain the yogurt on 2 layers of paper towel  (or use a muslin cloth) ,overnight or more. The water should be completely drained. Add the sugar, cardamom powder, saffron and whisk it until the sugar is mixed well with the yogurt.Transfer it to the serving /storing dish, sprinkle the top with almonds and more elaichi pdr. Chill and serve with Pooris or Rotis.

09 April 2012

Sufi restaurant, Bangalore.

The Sufi Restaurant in Koramangla, Bangalore is one of the places we often go to when in mood to have good Persian food.

Luxurious yet ethnic decor add to the charm of this place.

The staff is friendly and prompt and the food is served hot and delicious. We often go for their kabab platter, the soups are awesome. And the Persian bread they serve is my favourite.

They have refrained from Indianising the food and tried to stick to authentic flavours due to which some may find the food less spicy. But they also serve Indian food and have a different menu for that. 

For me the beauty of the food here is its simplicity, that lets the true flavours shine

If you like Persian food, this is a good place to hangout with your friends and family.

This is the dessert we had called Sholezard (the persian phirni if you will )along with Ranginak, I really liked Ranginak -- I've never had it before , and it was very light and had a nice texture to it

The tea of course is a very nice way to end any meal

Who : Sufi Restaurant

Where: 103, 5th Floor, Empire Building, 5th Block, Koramangala,
            (for locals, its above the Empire restaurant in Kormagala)

            080-65901177, 080-65901188

When:  12 Noon to 11 PM

What: Persian bread
           Persian Tea.

Website:  Not Available.

Update: There has been a change in the management since my last visit.

02 April 2012

Coconut 101- How to select, use, store Coconuts and make coconut milk the easy way.

As a child I would be excited when a fresh coconut was cracked and me along with my siblings, cousins and friends would line up to get the coconut water.

Well in India, where I grew up, cracking a fresh coconut was a daily ritual .... almost.

One of my favourite snack growing up was to eat slices of fresh coconut sprinkled with granular sugar and at times some cardamom pdr for a extra special treat . I still love eating those and my son does too. Unfortunately, after coming to USA, when I bought coconuts for the first time,  they were not good at all (and expensive too), but back then I didn't knew how to select a good coconut and what to look for. Eventually I stopped using the fresh coconut and turned to the frozen one and slowly got used to the convenience.

Only recently I have bought back the fresh coconut to my kitchen and am so excited about it that I am dedicating a post to it.

Besides the health benefits of eating fresh, its very healing to have fresh produce in your kitchen than packets of frozen stuff in your freezer.

How to select a coconut:

While picking a coconut, look for a one that is heavy for its size. Shake it n make sure it has a lot of water and sounds full. Also avoid coconuts that have cracked or if you see the the eyes(small black holes on top of the coconut) are moldy or damp, they are likely to be rotten inside.

How to store:

An unopened coconut can be stored in a cool and dark place for months(depending on the freshness when purchased). Once opened it will stay good in the refrigerator for a week but you can freeze it for up to 5-6 months.

As I use the ground coconut a lot, I store it in cubes. Once frozen I remove the cubes from the tray n transfer them back to the freezer in a zip lock bag. You can also freeze grated or sliced coconut in zip lock bags

Time Saving Tip:

Grind tomatoes or coconuts, pour them in ice cube trays , freeze and store them in ziplocks for immediate use. Use as many cubes as you need for ur curry, so u dont have to defrost the whole paste n freeze it again.

How to use:

Every part of the coconut is useful. In India people use the husk (the outer fiber) of the coconut to clean their dishes or even as a body scrubber. The coir is an enitre industry and has many uses.

The hard shell is used as wood for making fire, its also used as a container for making candels, spoons etc

The flesh of the coconut is used in cooking, making oil, beauty products and coconut by products.

These are just a few of the many ways a coconut can be used.

In the kitchen we generally use finely ground fresh coconut to make qormas, koftas, desserts, chutneys, curries etc.

To make coconut paste:

Open the coconut and separate the flesh/meat from the hard shell. Some people prefer to peel the dark skin off  using a peeler or paring knife. Slice it and grind it to a paste using water only if and as needed.


Run the grinder with coconut without any water for few seconds, once you get it coarsely ground now start adding water as needed. Use as less water as possible

How to make Coconut Milk - the easy way :

Traditionally the coconut is hand scrapped and then strained through a muslin cloth to extract coconut milk , but this is how I make it...the easy way.

I make coconut paste using slightly more water than required and I run the blender slightly longer than required.

Then I strain the paste to get thick and yummy coconut milk.

Coconut milk can be enjoyed as is or used to make curries, desserts or my favourite.... sol kadi

If you have some tips to share or ideas , please let me know, I will be happy to update my post with your suggestions.

01 April 2012

Homemade Basil Pesto


5 big handfuls basil leaves (about 2 hefty bunches)
1/2 C pine nuts or 3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 C fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled

salt and pepper to taste
3/4 C extra-virgin olive oil


Place all ingredients with 1/2 cup of the oil in a blender and blend. Gradually drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of oil until pesto is thick and smooth.

This will yield about 2 cups of pesto, the left over stays well in an airtight container when refrigerated.

Homemade Pesto tastes much much better is fresh, cheap, healthy , quicker and easy to make than you think and ofcourse its halal . Its and excellent condiment to have in your pantry , toss in some cooked pasta or spread it on a sandwich or paratha for another quick fix meal.