Monday, November 25, 2013

Channa dal snack

The streets of India are filled with tons of vendors.  From food to clothes to a mini-convenient store to toys to grocery.  They come with carts or large baskets on top of their head or hung around their necks. One of our favorite snacks sold many times by teens looking to make a buck, is spicy tangy channa dal.  Here's the semi-homemade recipe.

Serving size 5
3 cups of pre-packaged fried channa dal (usually its seasoned with cayenne pepper and salt)
1/2 finely chopped red onion
cilantro
juice of 1/2 lemon
Cayenne pepper to add extra spice
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Badam (Almond) Kulfi


Ingredients:
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
 
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
½ cup almonds (if you don’t have enough add some almond milk)
½ cup pecans (or substitute with whatever nuts you want- pistachio, walnuts)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1  cup sugar (taste the mixture while it’s hot and add sugar as needed)
*add a pinch of saffron into the milk if you want. I didn’t have saffron so I didn’t include it. 

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bombay Sandwich


Ingredients:

  • Sliced bread
  • Butter or margarine (only if grilling)
  • ½ cup Mint-Coriander Chutney
  • ½ cup of Sriracha - or your own spicy garlic chutney
  • 2 large potatoes boiled, peeled and sliced thick
  • 1 cucumber sliced thin
  • 2 tomatoes sliced thin
  • 1 red onion sliced thin in rings
  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala (available in most Indian grocery stores)
  • Any kind of shredded cheese (optional)

  1. spread the mint-coriander chutney on one side of one bread,
  2. layer potatoes, cucumbers, tomato, and onion
  3. between each layer of vegetables sprinkle some chatt masala
  4. sprinkle some cheese if desired on top of the veggies
  5. spread sriracha on a slice of bread and cover the sandwich with the sriracha side down
If grilling, repeat the steps above but also butter the sides that will be toasted.
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Baraf (Snow Cones)

This recipe is probably the easiest thing I have ever made. Snow cone is such a refreshing drink to have on a hot summers day. And now you can make it too in a matter of minutes!

Ingredients

Crushed Ice (as much as you wish)
Syrup of choice (I used Kool Aid flavored syrup, you can certainly use assorted juice, soda etc)


Method

All you need is a blender to crush the ice and it will become "snow" in a matter of minutes.

Tip: I suggest fill the blender halfway with crushed ice to get the maximum effect of snow.

Fill a glass or Snow cone Cone cups with the ice and then drizzle with your desired syrup.

Enjoy!


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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pani Puri Chaat


Pani Puri is one of the most loved Indian street foods or “chaat”. The puri (small, round, crispy puffed shells made from semolina) is stuffed with potato mixture, tamarind chutney and a spicy, tangy water, or pani. 
Eat it in one big bite and experience the explosion of flavor. Absolutely one of my favorite chaat. They go fast so be sure to make plenty with this easy pani puri recipe.

serves 5 - 6 people

Ingredients: 

For Pani (Spicy Water): 
2 cup mint leaves (Pudina) 
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
3 to 5 green chilies (adjust to taste) 
3 tablespoons tamarind paste (Imli) 
3 tablespoons lemon juice 

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bombay Chatt - 21st Meet!





What a gorgeous fall day it was. Vaishali hosted our Bombay Chatt Exchange. As we all know Jalpa welcomed a baby girl about 6 weeks ago so we had a special visitor, Mohini Jhoom, this month. MJ was fasting for Navaratri so she only had milk. Vaishali served us baraf gola (snow cones) with a modern twist. Unlike traditional gola’s these were severed in cup which I am sure most of us preferred. I still have very vivid memories of buying these gola’s off a street vendor and enjoying them as a child. They would have different flavors and although I cannot remember what specific flavors I had enjoyed, I just remember enjoying them. 

We had Jalpa’s Channa Dal next. She served it just the way you find it in India: in paper cones.  You would find channa dal again sold by street vendors. Nishal recounted a really funny story – she remembers traveling by train in India and these merchants selling the dal to train goers. Even if you didn’t want to have any, the sight and smell of the channa dal tempted you every single time and you would end up buying a pack or in this case a cone full of it! 

We moved on to the Bombay Sandwich that I served cold and hot (grilled). There are many variations of the sandwich and it’s a personal preference as to how to serve it. I remember being in India a couple of years ago when we were shopping for my cousins wedding and enjoying these sandwiches. I remember a couple of days we would purposefully not have a formal lunch because we would want to order these sandwiches; you can partially find these on every street corner.  

We also enjoyed the Pani Puri that Nishal made. What surprised me the most was that she made the pani (water with mint and other ingredients) from scratch. It was so good! I think most people would agree with me that no matter how hard you try you can never get the pani puri like the street vendors in India. Again I remember being in India 10 years ago and telling my cousin I will risk getting sick just to have a serving of pani puri. And so I did. And no, I didn’t get sick. 

And finally we ended the afternoon with Kulfi made by Parul. She somehow found a way to make it where it wasn’t too creamy but savory enough to be called a Kulfi. Yum!

 
Hetal will no longer be attending due to scheduling conflicts. 

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Apple fennel salad



This is my favorite salad at work, and finally dared to make it! Similar to the other salad post (stacked salad), I have to find other ways to make salads.  Although I've enjoyed eating all salad recipes posted on our blog :) Check them out

Here is another very simple recipe.

Ingredients:
3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1-2 teaspoons honey
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon
Pinch salt and black pepper
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Banana Coconut Cream Parfait


Quick and easy dessert you can whip up (literally) in no time!

Ingredients

1 and 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
4oz Neufchatel cheese, slightly softened (Find it right next to the cream cheese)
2/3 cup canned coconut milk (see note below)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (add more if needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 banana (sliced)
1/2 cup sweeted shredded coconut toasted
Vanilla or chocolate wafers, chopped small

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Masala Burger



Ingredients:
1lb of ground chicken (or turkey or beef)
1 CGG cube or 1 tbsp of chili, 1tbsp of ginger, 1 tbsp of garlic
1 medium onion
½ tbsp of oil
½ tbsp of turmeric
1 tbsp of garam masala (or any meat masala)
Salt to taste (a little more than ½ tbsp)
1 cup chopped spinach

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

20th Meet!


Hostess: Nishal

What an exchange!

We met this past Sunday at Nishal’s house. She made the most amazing mango drink. I am not a big drink drinker (yes, I just said that). I like Wine, Water, and Vodka. But this mango drink, I can see myself drinking this in the cold and dreary Connecticut (okay it’s not cold and dreary all the time, but work with me people) while imagining myself on a tropical island. I close my eyes and I am back in Jamaica. White sand. Cool breeze. Turquoise water.  My beach chair is halfway pulled in the ocean; the sun is beating down on me and small fishes are swimming right around me. I have my favorite book in one hand and in the other Nishal’s mango drink. Everything is alright. It was so cold and refreshing. She served the drink with some mango pieces in it. I could go for one right about now. 

We decided to prep everything and eat everything at once (versus eating one item and then going and prepping and then eating). Jalpa served us this really cool and refreshing salad. It had less than five ingredients and she made it fun with the coconut shells she served it in. Parul and I made burgers – Parul’s  was a quinoa burger that looked like a oatmeal cookie and tasted like deliciousness and mine a chicken burger that tasted like curry burger… because.. Well... it was. We ended the food part of our exchange with a scrumptious coconut crème parfait that Vaishali whipped together. I couldn’t stop talking about it for two days. It was that good. 

With a group of six and growing (with babies, not new members) we realized that we had to set some ground rules. This exchange cannot and will not be successful if we are on different pages about it. Big take aways were: this a “me” time (so no kids or husbands unless invited), always communicate with the entire group, act not react, when the date/time is set it should become a priority for all (no canceling if something else comes up), and no canceling unless a dire emergency comes up. We understand that this is for fun and adding rules to things like this takes away some of the fun, but we also understand and respect each others time. This will just make it even that much better. *winky face*
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sweet Peach Tea

Yields: 8 Servings

INGREDIENTS
7 bags Earl Grey tea
1 lemon, sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut in chunks
4 cups boiling water
8 cups ice cubes
2 peaches, peeled and diced
1 peach, sliced
½ cup sugar (or ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup agave nectar)- adjust as wanted
8 sprigs mint

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Baked Beans

Serving size: 6

Ingredients:
2 cans pinto beans
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup low sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika or chili powder 
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1teaspoon ground black pepper
4-5 cups water 
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Ingredients

Chicken breasts
Chipotle peppers
BBQ Sauce
Feta Cheese
Smoked Gouda Cheese
Onion
Cherry tomato
Cilantro
Whole wheat flat-bread

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Shrimp Ceviche

With the warm days of summer upon us, a great way to cool off is with ceviche. Ceviche is typically made with red snapper that is “cooked” by the acidity of lime and lemon juice. This version is prepared with shrimp, which is pre-cooked. You can use uncooked shrimp and let it cook in the juice. While the marinate will cook the proteins, it will not kill the bacteria. So I decided to just use pre-cooked shrimp.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pound medium-small shrimp, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • lime juice (juice from 2-3 limes)
  • lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • tortilla chips, optional
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Stacked Salad

I'm not good at making salads, and they always taste better when someone else makes it. Enjoy this twist on a salad.

Ingredients:

- Alfalfa sprouts
- Sliced Cucumber, not too thin
- Hummus (follow this exchange recipe) and add jalapenos (pickled or raw), as much or as little to your liking
- Green apple, Sliced Into bite sized pieces 
- Balsamic vinegar
- Wheat thins (any flavor) 
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Monday, June 17, 2013

19th Meeting - BBQ


Although our theme this was BBQ we didn’t really have too many traditional flavors of BBQ. 1) Because we are creative and always try to think outside the box 2) although most of us eat meat there is just so much meat you can eat. SO for that reason we always try to have vegetarian options. Parul hosted this exchange and she made a really great Peach Iced Tea. More on that later this week… This week was extra special because this was the first time we all met since Nishal told us she was expecting. We teased her about not showing already but very seriously told her she probably won’t show because she’s tall and thin to begin with and it’s her first pregnancy. We are so excited to have two new exchange babies this year. 


We started the day off with Jalpa’s stacked salad which was so refreshing and creative. Leave it to Jalpa to make a salad that you can eat without utensils. Next we moved to Nishal’s shrimp ceviche. Now the two times I have tried shrimp, I hated it. But this I can probably eat a bowl full of. We moved on to Vaishali’s and my meal next: BBQ Chicken flat bread and baked beans on baked potato. Growing up vegetarian there were limited options during BBQs. Baked beans (BB) were a staple during those times. I remember having family parties and the BB was the star of the show. But back then the BB came from a can and that’s why it was such a proud moment for me that I can make them from scratch. Watch out Bush! Vaishali’s BBQ chicken flatbread was savory and light. And we finally ended our 3 hour meal with Grilled Peaches with Ice Crème that Hetal grilled.  Um, can i have some more please?
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Mini Fruit Parfait


{This comes from Jalpa}

Ingredient:
- Filo cups (prebaked or bake using filo sheets)
- two fruits, diced into small bites (sweet and citrus, or any combo)
- low fat plain yogurt
- heavy whipping cream
- sugar, vanilla extract and chocolate chips or shaved chocolate for decor
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Baked Jalapeno Poppers


Ingredients

Non-Veg
Jalapeno
Cream cheese
Mexican cheese
Ground Chicken
Ranch dressing

Veg
Jalapeno
Cream cheese
Mexican Cheese
Black beans
corn
Ranch dressing
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tofu Parm

{Parul's dish}

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (Italian with Parmesan cheese)
2 eggs
1 (12 ounce) pack of extra firm or firm tofu (organic preferred)
1 bottle of tomato sauce
5 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Broccoli Cheese Bite

Makes about 30
Total time to make: 30 minutes

 Ingredients:
16oz Broccoli
3 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs - I did Italian style
8oz Gouda cheese - I used Boar’s Head Chipotle Gouda Cheese
3 Serrano peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
Mini cupcake pan
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

18th Meeting: 5 Ingredients or Less


Our most recent exchange was a 5 Ingredients or less exchange inspired by that Food Network show. We initially thought it would be easy; little did we know how tough it was going to be to cook with only 5 ingredients. We all decided this might have been one of our toughest challenges because we were so limited. I know I for one take all the ingredients I use in my daily cooking for granted. Easily I must use at least 7-8 ingredients in most of my dishes, so to cut down to 5 was a challenge. That being said, once again we were all impressed with what we came up with. Nishal couldn’t make it to this exchange and we missed her; we would have loved to see what she came up with. We created our very first video tutorial {sneak peek: Tofu Parm}, which you guys will get to see later this week. And the best part about the meeting was Jalpa revealed the gender of her baby. We are so so excited to welcome a darling lit… you didn’t think I was going to give that big of a secret away, did you??!?!
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Choco-bana​na rolls

Ingredients:
Wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers
Nestle chocolate chips
half banana, cut into thin stripes (cut vertical into quarters)
ground cardamom
butter or margarine
baking sheet
water

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Hakka Noodles

For Noodles:
3 cups of Hakka noodles – cook according to directions on packet
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
 
For the vegetable:
1 cups sliced onions
2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tbsp. chopped celery
½ cup of carrots
½ cup of baby corn
2 cups of sliced mushrooms       
½ cup of bean sprouts
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. sesame oil
 
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Friday, March 29, 2013

Sweet Corn Soup


Ingredients:
1 can sweet corn cream style
1 cup kernel corn
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup thinly sliced french beans
Teaspoon garlic and ginger paste
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 can veg broth
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Sugar
Oil for stir fry 
Thinly sliced scallions


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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chili Paneer


Ingredients
1 pack (12oz) Paneer or Tofu or chicken
3 bell peppers (any color)
1 large onion
3 tablespoon of garlic
3 tbsp ginger
2 tbsp of chili (or to taste)
1/8 cup of rice vinegar
¼ cup of soy sauce
1/8 cup of ketchup
1/8 cup of chili oil (or vegetable or olive oil is fine)
¼ cup of cornstarch (only needed with chicken).
¼ cup of vegetable oil to pan fry
Scallions & cilantro to garnish

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Manchurian

Ingredients

For the Vegetable Balls

3 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 1/4 cups finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup onions
2 tbsp cornflour
5 tbsp plain flour
4 cloves garlic minced
green chilli
salt and black pepper
oil for frying


For the Gravy

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

CGG Cubes


1 cup of chili
¾ cup of garlic
¾ cup of ginger

Prep them for blending (wash the chili, remove the skin from the garlic and ginger). Blend into a paste (as smooth as possible). You will have more than you need any given recipe. I usually freeze mine in ice cube trays so I can have it ready for the next time I need it. It’s the best trick ever. I swear I am a more efficient cook because of it.
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