Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I had some extra cooked kheema (curried minced chicken) on hand and wanted to use it in a new recipe. A huge fan of finger foods that I am, I wondered how kheema with Indian spices would taste when married with Italian basil (from my garden) and made into a quiche. The result was surprisingly pleasing to the eye and palate.

Quiche is savory custard pie made with eggs, milk or cream and baked in a pastry shell. Different meats, vegetables, cheeses can be added to the custard. The fillings can be varied depending on one’s imagination and taste.


1 readymade pie crust

1 ½ cups of cooked chicken kheema (you can use any available kheema)


4 tbsp grated cheese

½ cup milk (or cream)

1 tsp for fresh chopped basil (substitue with cilantro or a herb or your choice)

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)

Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Mix in the basil and cheese.

Fill the pie crust with the kheema and pour in the prepared custard.

Bake for 25-28 minutes or until set. Around 15 minutes or so into baking place strips of foil on the pie edge to prevent it from burning. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, September 18, 2009


To all my friends who celebrate Ramadan Eid, wishing you and your families a wonderful Eid and may the coming days be filled with everlasting happiness. Eid Mubarak!!!

I remember sharing the wonderful sevvaiyan, the delectable bagare baingan and the mouth watering biryanis with Rafi uncle and his family each year, through out my childhood. Miss those wonderful spreads! This is my quick and simple representation of those delicious biryanis.

This recipe was very well received by many when it was initially posted years ago on one of the popular Indian food sites.

6 Eggs boiled a peeled
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups of Basmati rice, rinsed and set aside
1 large onion sliced
4 green chillies slit
Whole garam masala (3 cloves, 3 cardamom, 1 bay leaf, 2 inch cinnamon)
¾ tsp shah Jeera (caraway seeds) or cumin
2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
2 tsp of Biryani/Pulao masala (or ¾ tsp of garam masala powder)
2 tbsps oil
½ cup of chopped Cilantro for garnish

In a heavy bottomed pan (or pressure cooker) heat oil and add the whole garam masala and shah jeera, add ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add the onions and green chillies and fry the till translucent. Stir in the beaten eggs and scramble.
Season with a little saltAdd the rinsed basmati rice and gently stir and let cook for 2 minutes. Add the biryani masala and 3 cups of water. Season with additional salt.

Place the eggs and half of the cilantro on the rice। Cover with a tight lid and cook over medium high heat for 18-20 minutes or till the rice is done. Remove from heat and place aside for 5 minutes or more.

Remove the eggs and gently toss the rice well till well mixed with the other spices (masala). Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with eggs and cilantro and serve hot with cucumber tomato raita.

Monday, September 14, 2009


My family loves seafood, especially fish and shrimps. Given the health benefits of fish, I try to include different varieties as a staple in our diet. Of all the various seafood dishes, this one is a favorite amongst my family and friends.
This fish fry recipe is real easy and super yummy. I remember tasting this for the first time, years ago, in a Mangalorean friend’s house and have adopted the recipe since with very little modifications. In Mangalore they use whole fish and follow the similar method. The fish can also be deep fried.

It tastes best when it’s paired with rice and rasam or daal, or little bite sized pieces make great appetizers. Any type of fish – mackerel, Spanish mackerel, pomfret, catfish, tilapia, salmon etc. will do perfectly well in this recipe. I made this one with Spanish mackerel steaks.

2 lbs fish cut into ½ inch thick steaks
¾ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp methi powder
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
¼ tsp coriander powder
2 tsp lemon juice
¾ cups rava (semolina)
1 tbsp rice flour
4 tbsps oil

Coat the fish with chilli powder, turmeric, ginger garlic paste, methi powder, coriander powder, salt, and lemon juice. Marinate for at least 20 mnts. Mix the rava and the rice flour in a large plate and keep aside. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Roll each piece of fish into the rava mixture and place into frying pan. After 4 minutes turn the fish over and fry for an additional 4 mnts. Remove and drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Monday, September 7, 2009


I hate to say it out loud, but I am not a fan of pasta! Especially those heavy tomato based sauces don’t do much for me. And then one of my playgroup moms passed on this recipe over to me and it did not have a ‘sauce’ in the traditional sense and was made with things that you normally have on hand. How wonderful! The original recipe calls for shrimp, but can be substituted with bite-sized pieces of boneless chicken.

The ingredients required for this are:

1 large onion, sliced thin

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp fresh basil, julienned

½ tsp red pepper flakes

1 pk (8oz) any thin long pasta- spaghetti, angel hair

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 pound frozen spinach

1 stick butter

½ cup parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the pasta according to directions on pack. Drain, stir a few drops of olive oil, cover and set aside.
Melt butter and add the red chili flakes, garlic and basil. Add the onion and cook on medium high till translucent.
Add the shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes till the shrimp turn pink. Reduce heat, layer the frozen spinach, season with salt and pepper, cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove cover, stir.
Place pasta in serving platter and ladle the spinach and shrimp over the pasta. Sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese.