October 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Falafel Sandwich

I love food so I love to dine at fine restaurants.  I enjoy being served on white linen and I savor a fine cup of coffee and dessert.  But there is one exception:  I love to go to a certain fast food restaurant around the corner to eat a falafel sandwich.

I also enjoy Baba Ganoush, Hummus, and Parsley Salad with Tahini and Spicy Garlic Sauce. Because of my culinary curiosity, I always come home to my kitchen and make these things with my selected ingredients.

My family is my fan club. My friends and my cousins favor falafel over any food item from India.

I am sharing my recipe with you. I don't know if it can be called authentic or not, but I enjoy it every time I make it.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Approximately 1 Hour
Serves: 4-5

Falafel Patties or Balls

2    Cups Lentils
1    Cup Chickpeas, dried not canned
1    Head Lettuce, washed & chopped
(can be mixed with romaine for nutritional value)
1    Bunch Parsley
1-3 Green Chili Pepper or Jalapeño
1    Small Fresh Ginger
4-5 Cloves Garlic, peeled
1    Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Salt to Taste
1    Tsp Cumin Seeds
1    Tsp Coriander Seeds

How to Prepare:
  1. Wash lentil and chickpeas very thoroughly and check for stones if any.
  2. Soak lentil and chickpeas for at least for three hours in warm water.
  3. Cut and chop parsley, green chili, ginger and fresh garlic.
  4. Add salt, cumin and coriander seeds and red pepper flakes.
  5. Grind all of the ingredients together and make a batter.
  6. Heat the oil on medium heat in a frying pan.
  7. Make small balls from batter and drop them with a teaspoon to fry them in hot oil.
  8. Falafel patties are ready for the sandwich.  

Sauce recipes below:

Green Tahini Sauce

1    Bunch Cilantro, washed & chopped
2    TBsp Sesame Seeds
Salt to taste
1    Cup Cucumber, chopped garden or seedless
1    Small Ginger & Chili (to own taste)
1    Cup Sour Cream or Drained Yogurt or
Garlic Cucumber Dressing with Buttermilk (from store)
1    Tsp Cumin Seeds
3-5 Cloves Garlic

Blend all ingredients together and green sauce is ready for Falafel sandwich.

Red Sauce

4-5 Cloves Fresh Peeled Garlic
1    Red Hot Chili or Red Bell Pepper (for mild taste)
Salt to taste
10    Oz. Tomato Sauce Can
2    TBsp Red Pepper Flakes
1    TBsp Lemon Juice
2    TBsp Ketchup

Blend all ingredients together and red spicy or mild sauce is ready for you.

  • Pocket pitas are very tasty. There are a variety of pocket pitas available.  Plain pitas also taste very good.  I toast them in the toaster or warm them in a toaster oven at 200º till it puffs up.
  • Usually I mix two different kind of lettuce: Romaine and head lettuce. Washed and chopped.
  • 3-4 washed and cubed tomatoes to top it off.
I am pretty sure you will enjoy this dish over and over. It is bit time consuming but it's all worth it.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Garlic Bread Spread

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes


1    Loaf Bread
1    Whole Garlic, peeled
Salt to Taste
Parsley Flakes
Black Pepper
2    Tsp Parmesan Cheese
1    Stick Butter, room temperature or melted
Jalapeño, crushed (optional)

How to Prepare:

  1. In a small chopper, blend all the ingredients together.
  2. Spread is ready and can be saved for few days.

This is my favorite garlic bread. I use a different kind of bread every time.  Sourdough and wheat is my favorite.


Mixed Vegetable Soup

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 25 Minutes
Serves: 4-5


3-4 Tomatoes
3-4 Carrots
1    Cup Cut Snake Gourd
1    Red Bell Pepper
Few Broccoli Florets
1    Small Ginger Piece
1    Tsp Cumin Seeds
1    TBsp Cumin & Coriander Powder
Cilantro to garnish
Crushed Black Pepper
Salt to taste

How to Prepare:

  1. Cut all of the vegetables and cover with water in a pan.
  2. Add all of the ingredients and let it boil. 
  3. Once it reaches boiling point, reduce the heat very low and cover.
  4. Let it boil for 20 minutes until the carrots are tender and easy to mash.
  5. Blend with hand blender evenly.
  6. Garnish with crushed black pepper and cilantro.
  7. WOW soup is ready.

Tips: It is  great for lunch, heart-healthy and satisfying in winter months.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Biscuits with Caraway Seeds

Biscuits  are fun to eat. They go well with afternoon tea.  These are easy to make and very tasty!

Cooking Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Bake Time: 1 and 1/2 Hours
Serves: 20-25 pieces

3    Cups Bisquick Mix
1    Cup All Purpose Flour
1    Cup Plain Yogurt
1    Cup Oil or Melted Butter
1    Tsp Caraway Seeds
1/2 Tsp Salt

How to Prepare:
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together.
  2. Make small balls. 
  3. Gently place dough balls on baking sheet.
  4. Preheat oven to 350º for 7 minutes.
  5. Lower the temperature to 200º.
  6. Put baking sheet in the oven and bake for almost one and half hours.
Once the balls puffs up, move the rack in the oven to one slot above. This will help them to bake evenly.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spring Rolls with Vegetables

This is a fun recipe which sounds complicated, but it's easy to make and fun to serve.

Serves: 14 pieces


KG Pastry (Spring Roll Pastry)
2    Cups Shredded Cabbage
1    Cup Shredded Carrot
1    Cup Juvenile Green Beans
1/4 Cup Chives
1/2 Cup Bean Sprouts
2    TBsp Soy Sauce
Salt to taste
1    Tsp Chili Garlic Sauce
Oil for frying

How to Prepare:
  1. Mix all the ingredients together. 
  2. Squeeze all of the excesses water out.
  3. Prepare to fill the pastry according to the instructions on the wrapper.
  4. Deep fry in hot oil.  
  5. Serve with sweet and sour sauce.

These are a big favorite of the kids!


Friday, October 2, 2009

Udad Dal - Split Udad Beans

This dal is high in protein and is a must in Northern India.

Cooking Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4


1    Cup Udad Dal
5    Cups Water
1    TBsp Oil
1    Tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
Salt to taste
1/2 Tsp Garlic, minced
1    Tsp Ginger, grated
Small Green Pepper, chopped (optional

How to Prepare:
  1. Wash and soak udad dal for at least two hours.
  2. Boil the water and add dal. 
  3. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until tender.
  4. Fry in a pan with oil, cumin seeds, ginger, chili and spices. 
  5. Add the mixture to the dal.
  6. Add salt, lemon juice and let simmer for five minutes.
  7. Dal should be thick in consistency, not watery.  
  8. Garnish with cilantro.
  9. Ready to eat.