Tag Archives: spicy

Mrs. Kaur

Jaahaan’s mom, Mrs. Kaur is visiting from Delhi for a few weeks. I don’t know why she would visit Syracuse in January with all this snow when the weather in Delhi is balmy and wonderful. I’d been hearing stories about her mom’s obsession with PNC, so I asked for a cooking lesson and Mrs. Kaur gratefully obliged. When I arrived at Jaahaan’s apartment Mrs. Kaur  already had all the spices set out, the vegetables diced, and was ready to go. It was like entering into the Indian version of Everyday Italian with Giada. Pretty much a dream come true.


This is all Mrs. Kaur has to work with. One saucepan, one skillet and a rice cooker. And I learned that the basic ingredients in any Indian dish are tomatoes, onions, maybe some ginger garlic paste, and some spices. Really the most essential spice is a garam masala mix. Just goes to show that Indian cooking isn’t hard. All you need is a pot, some vegetables, and a spice mix and you are cooking like a true Desi lady. Most of the ingredients used can be found in the International isle at Wegmans. Some of the more obscure items, like amchoor powder, can be found at Kashmir Grocery on Erie Boulevard.


1/4 cup onion paste* |||| 1 teaspoon garlic ginger paste |||| 3/4 cup tomato puree |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 1/2 teaspoon turmeric |||| 1 teaspoon garam masala |||| 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder |||| 1 teaspoon chili powder |||| 1/2 cup diced green pepper |||| 1/2 cup diced onion |||| 1 1/2 cups milk |||| 1 package fried paneer

*To make the onion paste: mix diced onions in a blender or a food processor until an onion paste forms. Then briefly saute the paste in a skillet with some oil until the paste turns light brown. The onion paste will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

1. Heat vegetable oil in the bottom of a medium-sized pot. Add the onion paste and garlic ginger paste and saute for about 2 minutes.

2. Then add the tomato puree and spices. Allow the mixture to cook for another 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the milk, green peppers, onions, paneer, and 1 /2 cup of water to the spiced tomato puree mixture.  Allow the mixture to boil until the curry thickens and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.


1 teaspoon mustard seeds |||| 2 potatoes, peeled, boiled, and diced |||| 1 small onion, cut into thin strips |||| 1 teaspoon garlic ginger paste |||| 1/4 cup tomato puree |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango powder) |||| 1/2 teaspoon turmeric |||| 2 teaspoons garam masala |||| 1 teaspoon dhania powder (coriander seed) |||| 1 teaspoon chili powder

1. Heat a few teaspoons of vegetable oil in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Beware! The mustard seeds will pop. Stand back so you don’t shoot your eye out. Allow the seeds to cook for about 30 seconds before adding the onions.

2. Once the onions start to turn brown add the tomato puree and the spices. Allow the onions to cook with the spices for another 3-4 minutes.

3. Then add potatoes and 1 cup of water to the skillet. Allow the mixture to cook until the water is totally evaporated.


Econ homework and a plate of Indian food for dinner.


This kitty only speaks Hindi.


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DIY chinese take out

General Tso’s Chicken

1 pound green beans |||| 1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons corn starch |||| 4 garlic cloves, minced |||| 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated |||| 2 teaspoons paprika |||| 3 tablespoons brown sugar |||| 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons soy sauce |||| 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes |||| 1 tablespoon sesame seeds |||| 2 egg whites|||| 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced |||| 2 tablespoons vegetable oil |||| salt and pepper

1. In a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1/2 cup cold water. Add garlic, ginger, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Add the green beans and evenly coat with sauce.

2. In another bowl, whisk egg whites and 3 tablespoons corn starch. Add about a teaspoon each of salt, pepper and paprika. Add the chicken and coat evenly with corn starch mixture.

3. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add chicken to skillet. Once chicken begins to turn brown, add 2 more tablespoons of soy sauce and sesame seeds. Then add the snow peas mixture. Cook until chicken is cooked through, green beans are tender and the sauce has thickened.

Fried Rice

2 cups white or brown rice |||| 1/4 cup green onion, chopped |||| 1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped |||| 2 eggs |||| 3 tablespoons vegetable oil |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Cook rice according to the directions on the package

2. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil. Toss in the green onion and green pepper. Cook until tender. Add the cooked rice, salt, and soy sauce. Heat until rice is golden and toasted looking.

3. Hallow a center in the middle of the rice. Break eggs into the hollow. Scramble until semi-cooked, then stir into the rice mixture. Continuously mix the rice until the egg is cooked thoroughly.

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chunky country cornbread

1 cup green onions |||| 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal |||| 1 1/4 cups flour |||| 1/4 cup sugar |||| 1 tablespoon + 6 tablespoons butter |||| 1 tablespoon baking powder |||| 1 1/2 teaspoons salt ||||1/2 teaspoon baking soda |||| 1 1/2 cups buttermilk |||| 3 large eggs |||| 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese |||| 1 cup whole corn kernels |||| 1/2 cup roasted red peppers from a jar, chopped  |||| 2 tablespoons jalapenos, seaded and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet and saute green onions until browned.

2. Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk and eggs in a seperate bowl. Mix the milk mixture into the cornmeal mixture. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, cheese, green onions, corn, red pepper, and jalapenos.

3. Pour batter into a greased 6×6 glass casserole dish. Bake cornbread about 1 hour and 15 minutes until bread is golden brown.


I had the flour,  sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, baking soda and eggs in the pantry.

$0.99 – 1 bunch green onions

$1.69 – 1 jar of yellow cornmeal

$4.69 – 1 chunk of sharp cheddar cheese (but I only used half of the chunk)

$1.42 – 1 bag of frozen whole corn kernels

$3.99 – 1 jar of roasted red peppers (but I only used about 1/3 of the jar)

$0.19 – 1 jalapeno


$12.97 TOTAL

$12.97/10 servings = $1.30 per serving

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chickpea curry

2 tablespoons vegetable oil |||| 3 garlic cloves, crushed ||||  2-3 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger root |||| 2-3 tablespoons medium or hot curry powder |||| 1-2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes |||| 1 1/2 x 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes |||| 1 teaspoon brown sugar |||| 2 x 13 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed |||| pinch of salt |||| low-fat plain yogurt, for garnish

1. Heat oil in a large, non stick wok or frying pan and add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for thirty seconds and then add the curry powder and dried red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute before adding the diced tomatoes and sugar.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes.

3. Stir in the chickpeas and mix well. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until chickpeas are heated through.

4. Season with salt and remove from the heat. Garnish with yogurt before serving.


This is a really cheap recipe. I had the oil, garlic, sugar, salt and curry powder in the pantry. I am new to cooking Indian, so I don’t know a lot about the spices and how they are used. For now I am cheating with a purchased curry powder mixture. Curry powder is available in the spices section of any grocery store and usually costs $3-5. Here’s the cost of the ingredients I purchased:

$0.60 – small piece of ginger root                                                                                                          

$2.40 – 2 cans of diced tomatoes                                                                 

$1.58 – 2 cans of chickpeas                                                                          

$0.97 – 6 ounce container of plain yogurt                                                  ________                                                                                                       

$5.55 TOTAL

$5.55/ 4 servings = $1.39


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Filed under indian cuisine, Uncategorized, vegetarian