Category Archives: Recipes

Spicy French Toast

Eggs with spices. Dip bread to coat both sides. Saute it.

2 eggs
Salt – generous amount
Red pepper – ground – as needed
Ground black pepper

Whisk all of the above.
Add chopped cilantro – as needed

3-4 slices of bread
Oil for sauteeing

Heat oil.

Dip bread in egg mixture. I usually use a dinner plate to do this.
Fry it. 1-2 minutes each side.

Eat with tomato ketchup.


This is cooked in an Indian style. Similar to country cooked omelette with browned surfaces and not a light yellow french style omelette.
Traveling in India, this is similar to what street vendors offer. Especially the pan-grilled buttered bread.

My normal method is this:
Medium-high heat. Add oil. When hot, add finely chopped onions and chopped green chili or red pepper powder. Cook for 4-7 minutes to required doneness.
Add diced tomatoes. Cook for 3-7 minutes more.
Whisk two eggs with salt and fresh ground pepper. Optionally, add a tablespoon of whole milk or cream.
I also add a large amount of chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) to the egg mixture.
Add to fry pan, lower heat a bit. Stir a bit at start if needed, otherwise leave it alone for 2-4 minutes until the top looks mostly cooked.
Then either fold in half, or flip the omelette (if possible).
Cook for a minute.

Now for the bread. Instead of just toasting bread, pan-grilling buttered bread is a good change.
If you have soft butter, then butter each side of the bread and then pan-grill it.
In cold weather, I heat butter in pan and and use that to apply butter to both sides of the bread and then pan-grill it.
Increase heat to high and add bread slices. Press the bread if needed but otherwise do not move the bread so as to get it nicely browned at the bottom.
Cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip it over and repeat.

Alternate method: Instead of frying onions and tomatoes first, try adding those to the eggs after the eggs have been whisked and then drop that whole mixture into a medium-hot frying pan and then cook as above.


Using a basic recipe, we can cook many different items with a rich gravy Indian style curry.

Chicken, shrimp, rajma kidney beans, potatoes, and much more.

And note the tip on the recipes page – vary or add or omit ingredients as you feel like.

In brief:
1. Heat oil, add whole dry spices.
2. Add finely chopped or even ground onions and heat until just browned. 7-15 minutes.
3. Add ginger + garlic paste, cook for 3-5 minutes.
4. Add dry powdered spices, cook for 1 minute.
5. Add tomatoes. Puree or chopped. Cook until oil separates. Around 4-8 minutes.
6. Add the main ingredient. Cook as required: 15 minutes to 90 minutes.

And in more detail:

Medium-high, heat oil.

Add mustard seeds, and when they pop add cumin seeds.

Add full cloves, cardamom seeds, curry leaves. [All optional.]

Cook for a minute.

Add dry spices: asafoetida (hing), turmeric, coriander, cumin powder, red chili powder. Cook for a minute or two.

Grind onions, ginger, garlic in a blender or finely chop. This makes for a good curry base.
Warning: be careful chopping or grinding onion. Eyes will water for hours. Take precautions and wash hands, eyes, and face well after this step.
Alternately, use finely chopped onions – no need to grind them.

Ingredients: ginger, garlic, onions.

Add the onion paste or finely chopped onions.

Stir often, keep cooking until mixture turns dark. Lower heat a bit if it starts to stick or burn quickly.

Cook for around 7-12 minutes. This is done when oil starts separating out of the mixture.
Add ginger garlic paste, if not already ground with with the onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add minced tomatoes. Or tomato paste or puree. Experiment with what you like best. Canned tomatoes just fine for this.

Keep cooking until tomatoes are all incorporated and you can start seeing some oil separate out. 10-15 minutes.

Now add the main ingredient.

Chicken: can saute/fry it before, but if in a hurry, just put uncooked chicken and saute it for 10-15 minutes.
Add water as needed, and on a simmer, cook for 1-2 hours. More time for chicken with bones.
15-20 minutes cooking for potatoes.
10 minutes or so for shrimp.

5 or 10 minutes before it is all done, add garam masala (or add this after the onions+tomatoes are cooked).

Add coriander leaves at end to garnish.

In terms of quantities – use equal weight of chicken and onions. Tomatoes a bit less, much less if using paste or puree.

Rajma: soak dry kidney beans overnight.

Potato curry: After the tomatoes are cooked, add cubed potatoes. Add a cup or two of warm water, bring to boil, and cover and turn heat down to very low to keep water boiling.
Potatoes will be done in 15 minutes or so. 5 minutes before it is done, add green peas.

Peas in Potato Curry.

Quantities example for potato curry – vary as needed:
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
2 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 to 2 teaspoon chili powder – spiciness varies, know your chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
Salt as needed – add a bit to onions, and then 1/2 teaspoon or so when tomatoes are cooked
Then at end, taste the curry and add salt as needed.

3 or so small tomatoes or 4 tablespoon puree

2 large potatoes or 1 pound boneless chicken
2 large onions
2-3 tablespoon of ginger
2-3 tablespoon of garlic – 6 large cloves
6 ounces petite peas (for potato curry)

Fish curry:

For this, I cooked the fish separately to start with, and then added it to the curry.

Masala Fish Fry

Spicy fish fry.

Any fish will work.

I used frozen cod. Boneless and skinless Alaskan Code Fillets. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.

Cod – 8 oz/250gms
First, marinate the fish:
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
ginger garlic paste – 1 to 2 tablespoon
lemon juice – 1/2 teaspoon
salt – coarse salt – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
oil – 1 teaspoon
coriander leaves

Mix all the above and marinate the fish for 1 hour.

In a pan on medium-high heat, add a little oil.
Once hot, add the fish fillets.
Fry 4-6 minutes, without moving the fish. Lower heat if needed.
Flip over, cook for another 4-6 minutes.

All done!

I used far more ginger and garlic as shown in the pictures! All measurements are to-taste, feel free to experiment.

For additional inspiration:
Many recipes at masala+fish+fry
For example: fish fry.


Cabbage sabzi

Serve with rice, maybe with varan (yellow lentil soup), or with chappati.

Can use same recipe to make Potato Sabzi. Substitute cubed semi/nearly-fully-boiled potatoes.
That can also be eaten with dosa.

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Cabbage – half of 8″ or so diameter sphere. Chop into small pieces (0.5″ strips)
Black Mustard Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Green Chilies – chopped, as needed. Or red chili powder.
Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Amchur (mango) powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic and Ginger – minced, as needed. 1 to 2 tablespoon.
Oil for sauteing
Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.

Use a large pan to fit all the chopped cabbage. It will reduce a lot, but starts off needing lot of space.
Use medium to medium-high heat setting.
Heat oil.
Add black mustard seeds. When seeds start popping, add cumin seeds
Add chopped green chilies, to taste.
Add dry spices (except amchur), cook for a minute.
Add minced ginger and garlic (lower heat a bit and stir often to avoid burning garlic). Cook for a minute or two.

On medium-high heat, add the cabbage. Stir often. Saute this for 5-10 minutes.
Add salt to taste – add some now, and more after it is cooked.
Cover to cook (keep stirring every minute or two), around 5-10 minutes.
Remove cover, add amchur powder and keep sauteing until cooked, around 1-3 minutes more.
Check salt again, add more if needed.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Eggplant Bhaji

vaa.ngyaachii bhaajii (वांग्याची भाजी)

Serve with rice and varan (yellow lentil soup), or with chappati.

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Eggplant – 1 large, to fill 10″ saute pan (but use larger pot for cooking). Chop into small pieces (0.5-1″ cubes)
Black Mustard Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
Green Chilies – chopped, as needed
Garlic – chopped, if needed
Water – a little amount, 1-2 tablespoons
Oil for frying

Heat oil
Add Mohri (black mustard seeds), when it pops, add Jeera (cumin seeds)
Add chopped green chilies, to taste – this dish should be hot and spicy.
Cook for a minute or so, then added chopped eggplant, with turmeric.
Coat eggplant well with the cooking oil, it will absorb all the oil immediately.
Cook covered for 5 minutes or so, stirring ever so often, and it will slowly release the absorbed oil.
Then add water – couple of tablespoons or so, cover and let it cook on low heat – 10-15 minutes.
Eggplant will reduce in volume a lot at the end of cooking.
Add more water if needed, then add salt to taste.
If water was too much, cook uncovered for a while. Final dish should be not have much water.
Eggplant is done when it is soft all over.

Sabudana Khichdi

saabudaaNaa khichaDii (साबुदाणा खिचडी)

Comfort food: Sabudana Khichdi

In Marathi: साबुदाणा खिचडी

Time: 30-60 minutes (4-8 hour including soaking time)
Serves: 3-6

Sabudana (pearl sago) – 1 pound (around 2 cups)
Peanuts – 1/2 pound
Cumin Seeds – 1 tablespoon
Green Chillies – chopped, as needed
Boiled potatoes – chopped in small cubes, two large
Curry Leaves (kadi patta) – 2 to 4
Salt to taste

Wash sabudana in water for a minute, drain nearly all of the water, level should just cover the sabudana, and leave in covered vessel for half-hour. Then drain all water, and leave covered for 4 hours or overnight. When done soaking, no liquid should be left, and all the grains should be soft but not mushed together – pressing between fingers should find no hard material in the middle, should be soft all the way.

Soaking is the most important part of this recipe. The biggest issue is not using enough water to make all the grains soft.
Using water that fully covers the sabudana, with a bit over it, usually is sufficient.

Toast the raw peanuts in a pan, and then let them cool down. Then coarsely grind the peanuts in a blender or mixer or similar.

Heat oil, add curry leaves, cumin seeds, green chillies, fry for a minute or so. Add cubed potatoes, cook until brown, around 5-10 minutes.

Add the sabudana and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the color turns from solid white to more of a translucent color, stirring frequently to prevent clumping. This part can be cooked covered.
Mix peanuts into the sabudana, cook for 5-10 minutes more, until color turns light-brown.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve with plain yogurt.

Fix hard grains: When eating, the grains should feel soft. If not, then add hot water, cover, and cook for 5-10 minutes. Stir every 1-2 minutes. Feel free to add water during the cooking phases above too.

Another recipe, external link: Aayi’s recipes

Sambar Recipe

Sambar Recipe (सांबर)

Turned out great. Quantity overshot a lot, did not need that much!

Probably cooked around 16 cups (4 quarts in a 5-qt pot), needed only around 6-10 cups of sambar.

This was very easy to cook using prepared sambar powder. Only thing is that it needs a number of ingredients.
Sambar is great in that one can add any vegetables. For me, drumsticks are a must. For fun and because I like the texture, I also added Woodear mushrooms from the local Korean shop!
Serve sambar with rice or dosa or idli.

The tricky thing here is how much hot red chilli to add. Chillies or chilli powder can’t be added as salt can, it requires cooking, so difficult to adjust it while cooking. I added 4 chillies, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, along with the 2 tablespoons of sambar powder (which also has the chilli spices), and it turned out a bit on the hot/spicy side. So for the recipe below, I removed the 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, though if you like things hot, feel free to add it.

Time: 60-90 minutes
Serves: 10-16 (makes around 4 quarts or 16 cups)

Toor dal – 1/3 cup
Masoor dal – 1/3 cup
Wash dals, soak in cold water for around 30 minutes.
Then add 3-5 cups water as needed, boil it, lower to simmer and cook until they almost dissolve. No need to mash it, just fine with boiling. Takes around 30-40 minutes.

Tamarind – soak 1-2 tablespoons in 3/4 cup warm water for 30 minutes then filter it out to get tamarind juice. Or use 1 tablespoon tamarind paste and add it while cooking.

In parallel, cook the sambar. Some recipes call for just boiling all the vegetables with the spices, while some saute vegetables and then proceed to boiling. I prefer the latter, though I’m told it probably makes no difference in the final taste.

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – 2 teaspoons
Curry Leaves (kadi patta) – 10-12
Dry red whole chillies – 3-5
Oil – 2-4 tablespoons
Onion (1 large – 1-1.5 cups), chopped into around 1 inch squares, or any way you wish, just keep the pieces large or long.
Asafoetida (hing – 1/4 teaspoon)
Urad dal (white, husked, 1 teaspoon)
Fenugreek seeds (1 teaspoon)
Cumin powder (1 teaspoon, optional)
Coriander powder (1 teaspoon, optional)

Add oil to a pot, covering the bottom of the pan.
Add red chillies and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, fenugreek seeds. The urad dal will turn a bit darker in a few seconds, add asafoetida, coriander powder, cumin powder, stir a few times, then add the onions.

Cook the onions for 2-4 minutes, until they become a bit soft.

Sambar powder – 2 tablespoons (I used MTR Brand)
Drumsticks – handful (1-1.5 cups)
Got the frozen variety, only one available in most parts of the US, I bet. Cut into 3 inch/finger length pieces if not already sliced. Thaw them for cooking (run them through cool tap water for quicker thawing).

Eggplant (1-2 small – 1-1.5 cups when cut into cubes)
US grocery stores have humongous eggplants, only used a quarter of one large eggplant for this.

Okra – (0.5 pounds, around 1-1.5 cups).
Cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Cut and discard small sections at the top and bottom of each okra.

Woodear mushroom (7-9 pieces, optional – any vegetables you want can be added to sambar!)

Salt to taste

Add all the other vegetables you want with the sambar powder and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Important to add salt along with the vegetables. 1-2 teaspoon at this time, and then later can add more to taste.

Tomatoes (1 large or 2-3 small, around 1-1.5 cups)
Jaggery (gur) – 1-2 tablespoon

Add tomatoes, tamarind juice and jaggery and cook for 5-7 minutes more.

Then add 1-2 cups of water, bring to boil, and then cover pot and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes. After this, vegetables should be soft and nearly cooked.

Then add the cooked dals and sufficient amount of water to get the consistency you want. Add more salt and jaggery as needed at this point too.
Cook on low heat for another 10-20 minutes, and it is done.

Sprinkle chopped green cilantro on top, and it is now ready to serve.

Sambar tastes good even after refrigerating it and cooking it on day two and day three and so on. Vegetables taste more flavorful after soaking in the sambar spices.