Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lemon Coriander Soup

Source: Sanjeev Kapoor

The Christmas holidays is the one time of the year I really look forward to. With my mom, sister, and I all in the same house, food somehow ends up being the center of our activities :-) My mom wanted to try my pineapple fried rice, so I decided to make this soup as a nice pairing. Since we had been eating so much, I decided to make a light soup which was not cream based.

  • 1/2 bunch Coriander leaves
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 medium Spring onion bulb, chopped
  • 1 inch piece Ginger grated
  • 6 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Gram flour (besan)
  • 4.5 cups Vegetable stock
  • 1/4 head of Cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium Carrot, cubed
  • 10-12 Black peppercorns, crushed
  • 3-4 Green Chilies, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice- 2 tablespoons or more to taste
  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a pot
  2. Add onion, spring onion bulb, ginger, garlic, green chilies and saute till translucent
  3. Add gram flour and continue to saute till you get a nice aroma
  4. Add vegetable stock, coriander stems, cabbage and carrot cubes and bring to a boil
  5. Add crushed peppercorns and continue to boil
  6. Add half of the chopped coriander leaves and cook for five to ten minutes
  7. Strain and keep aside cooked vegetables (you won't be eating these)
  8. Heat the strained soup
  9. Add salt, lemon juice and bring to a boil again
  10. Season with the remaining chopped coriander leaves. Add more lemon juice, coriander, salt to taste.
Kuty's Twist
The original recipe did not call for green chilies. I made this with 5 green chilies and it ended up VERY spicy, so please add the green chilies with caution :-)

I also thought that straining the vegetables was a very odd step. I understand why we should take out the cabbage, carrots, and coriander stems, since this soup is meant to be a clear simple soup. Unfortunately straining also takes out the onions, ginger, and garlic. What I ended up doing is straining about 3/4 of the vegetables, so it ended up being a vegetable lemon coriander soup. Something I may try next time is setting aside the onion, ginger, garlic, and green chilies once they are sauteed, then adding the vegetables and broth til the soup boils, then removing the vegetables and re-adding the ginger, garlic, and green chilies. I am still curious to know what this tastes like without adding the carrots and cabbage. Does the soup really need it? If you try it, please let me know!
The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of coriander, which I did not feel was enough. I also wasn't able to chop the coriander very finely, so I just chopped it in the blender. I kept adding coriander and tasting the soup until it tasted right.
This is perfect for a cold snowy Christmas Day in the house. Enjoy! :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Panchavati Pongal

Source: Kuty's Kreations!

The hubby and I recently took a much needed vacation to the beautiful NZ. The food was absolutely amazing and we had no problems finding vegetarian food. However, after eating such rich foods and after a long flight I was craving a nice hot and hearty wholesome meal. As soon as we came back I wanted to make ven pongal, which is one of the easiest South Indian meals one can make and is the ultimate comfort food. (It is similar to kichadi.) Normally it is made with moong dal, but of course with my luck I had only a few tablespoons left of it. So I thought, why not create a new recipe with whatever I have? And so came about panchavati pongal!

  • 3/4 cup of dhal (Make a mix of moong dhal, urad dhal, tuvar dhal, masoor dhal, channa dhal)
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • Handful of cashew nuts pieces
  • Dash of hing
  1. Soak rice and dhal for 20-30 mins (optional step)
  2. Rinse dhal and rice well
  3. Add rice, dhal, 5 cups water, hing, and ginger to pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. This really depends on your pressure cooker. It should come out nice and mushy. If it did not come out mushy continue to cook it (add water if necessary). If it is too watery, continue to cook it until some water boils off.
  4. Temper cumin seeds, crushed peppercorns, cashew nuts, ghee, curry leaves.
  5. Add tempering and salt to taste to the rice/ dhal mixture. Add more pepper and salt as needed. I like my pongal with a lot of pepper.
Kuty's Twist
Like I said, ven pongal is normally made with just moong dhal. You can probably try this with any type of dhal.

This is usually served with chutney or gotsu (an eggplant/ tomato stew). I make my pongal with a lot of pepper kick and am quite happy just eating it plain or with yogurt. :-)

If you have leftovers, I would advise microwaving it with some added water to get back that mushy consistency.

On a side note, it's quite funny how your tastes change as you grow up. I used to HATE eating pongal as a child, especially when it was made with whole peppercorns. Now I can't get enough of it! :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pineapple Halwa/ Kesari

Happy Deepavali/Diwali!!!

So I actually made this for Durgashtami last month, but in the spirit of Diwali I decided to post this. It's a very quick and simple recipe you can whip up in a jiffy! My wonderful m-in-law does a great job of reminding the younger generation about festival dates and what should be made when. This gets tough to do during the weekdays when you come home late from work, and traditionally you are supposed to make these items fresh on the same day of the festival (not in advance). I actually came home at a decent time from work, had some pineapple in the fridge, and thus came out pineapple halwa!

  • Suji/ Rava/ Semolina – 1 cup
  • Crushed pineapple – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Ghee/Butter – ½ tbsp
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Saffron – ½ tsp (dissolve in water)
  • Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
  • Raisins – ¼ cup
  • Cashews – ¼ cup coarsely chopped
  1. Dissolve saffron strands in 2 cups of water
  2. In a pan, add ½ tbsp of Ghee/butter. Add suji and dry roast it on medium low temperature, till it releases rich aroma. It will look light golden in color.
  3. Add crushed pineapple and sugar to the pan and mix well. Immediately add the saffron water, while stirring continuously or it will be lumpy.
  4. Add raisins, cashews and cardamom powder to it and mix well.
  5. Cook for another 2-3 minutes
Kuty's Twist

I honestly didn't have to alter this recipe at all. I did use fresh pineapple. Next time I'll probably put more as the pineapple flavor was not too strong.

I also used a non-stick pan and was constantly stirring to avoid lumps.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Linguine with Pumpkin Sauce

Source: Indigo's Sugar Spectrum

Fall has come upon us, which means only one thing.. It's PUMPKIN TIME! I have never had pumpkin ravioli, but I heard that it's pretty amazing. After a long tiring Sunday of running errands around town, my tummy had the random craving to try this out. But of course I was lazy and thought, why not just make pumpkin sauce? And so I did... :-)


  • 1 pound whole wheat linguine (or any pasta you prefer)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can of pureed organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon red chili powder
  • 2-3 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • Pepper to taste
  • 7 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Flour for thickening
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and add a little bit of olive oil. Then add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water to prevent from drying out and sticking together.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, and red chili powder until softened. Then add the chopped spinach.
  4. After the spinach starts to wilt and is cooked, stir in the vegetable broth, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  5. After this simmers for a few minutes, add the cream.
  6. Lower the heat and let it simmer until it thickens to a desired consistency. (I had to whisk in about 1/3 cup of flour to thicken the sauce a bit.)
  7. Stir in the sage
  8. Serve the sauce over the linguine and top with shredded parmesan!
Kuty's Twist

I didn't have any "hot pepper sauce" so I went the predictable "kuty" route and added red chili powder. I also added spinach to add some more veggies into the recipe (I had a bunch of spinach which I knew wouldn't be used over the next few days.)

I also didn't have fresh sage, so I stirred in dried sage while I was cooking the onions.

I'm sure this would taste even better with ravioli or tortellini! But I was in a slightly healthy mood and felt like slurping up pasta :-)
I am also LOVING this whole wheat pasta. It tastes great and is super filling.

Warning: This definitely is a dish for those whole like a combo of sweet and spice. Many people don't like that hint of sweetness to dishes. This didn't come out too sweet, but I would suggest adding more red chili powder if the level of sweetness isn't to your liking.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spinach & Artichoke Omelet Muffins

Source: Foodalogue

It's time to post some weekend brunch ideas!

I seriously think I'm starting to dig myself into a dangerous hole. Recently I just don't have a taste for leftovers and have no desire whatsoever to cook something I've already tried to cook. I've basically become ADD (hyperactive) when it comes to cooking!

When it comes to breakfast vegetarian egg recipes (I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian), it gets pretty tough to think of creative recipes week after week. I do love making eggs for weekend brunches, but there are only so many versions of scrambled eggs and omelets one can make. But thankfully I came across Foodalogue's brilliant creation, which is part of her 5 small meals with BIG FLAVORS series. And wow.. did this have some big flavors!

Servings: 7-8 Muffins


Omelet Muffins
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 small jar of marinated Artichokes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1.5 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cupPepper Jack Cheese
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1/4 cup corriander
  • 3 Tablespoos milk
  • 1-2 Tablespoons flour
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tomatillo
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon pine nuts

Omelet Muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Blend together the green chilies, coriander, milk, and 1/4 cup of spinach
  3. Whisk together the eggs, green chilies/ coriander mixture, flour, and salt and pepper
  4. Spray the muffin pan with non-stick spray
  5. Fill up each muffin cup 1/2 way with the egg mixture
  6. Place 1 Tablespoon of onions, 1 Tablespoon of spinach, 2-3 small pieces of artichokes, and desired amount of cheese (~1 Tablespoon) in each muffin cup
  7. Fill up each muffin cup with more of the mixture so they are 3/4 filled
  8. Bake for about 20 mins, until cooked and fluffy
  1. Blend together tomatoes, chipotle peppers, tomatillo, garlic, coriander, olive oil, and pine nuts. (Note: The chiptole peppers can be quite spicy. Make the sauce iteratively, adding tomatoes and peppers according to your spice tolerance.)
  2. Add salt and pepper as you desire

Kuty's Twist
As always, I added an Indian twist by adding green chilies and coriander. You can really vary this with any veggies.

I also couldn't find piquillo peppers, so I used chipotle peppers. I love the smoky taste of chipotle peppers! The original recipe also called for walnuts. I didn't have any, so I used pine nuts. This sauce really made the WOW factor of this dish. It is jam packed with flavor. I will definitely make this again just to use as a regular salsa to serve with chips and Mexican food. My friend even ate it with samosas the other day! :-)

The potatoes you see in the image are just sliced potatoes fried in oil, red chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Barbati (Yardlong Beans) Curry

Source: Tamalapaku

I'll keep this one short and sweet. I'm trying to be better about eating more vegetables and fruit (we'll see how long this lasts). Barbati is a vegetable I've only recently noticed in the Indian Grocery stores here on the West Coast. I think I actually like these better than regular green beans!

  • 1 bunch Barbati (Yardlong Beans)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 4 tablespoons coconut (optional. I didn't put this)
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons urad dal
  • 2 teaspoons chana dal
  • 3 red chilies (crushed)

1. Chop the barbati into lengths of 2-3 inches, depending on your taste and finely chop the onion

2. Boil the chopped barbati til tender

3. Prepare the peanut-coconut masala: Coarsely grind together the peanuts, coconut, coriander, cumin, garlic, and green chilies

4. Heat oil in a separate pan and add mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal and red chilies. Then add the turmeric.

5. Add the onions after the above stops spluttering and saute til golden brown

6. Add the cooked barbati and peanut-coconut masala

7. Cook together for 3-4 minutes, adjust salt and spice accordingly

Kuty's Twist

I wanted this to be a simpe dish so I didn't add the coconut and onion. It still came out great! I would also grind 3-4 green chilies next time to make it more spicy.

This is a nice dish because the peanuts add a twist to the regular beans curry most of us are used to.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Paneer Rajma Parathas

Source: One Hot Stove, Talimpu, and Tarla Dalal

Ok.. I know what you're thinking. This sounds like a wacky recipe! Even my husband said that he would prefer to have Paneer Parathas AND a Rajma Subji (gravy dish).

I've recently become stuck with a huge bag of atta/ wheat flour (they only had a large size left at the grocery store). So that with the combination of a new rolling pin, has motivated me to start making rotis and parathas. I was in no mood to stand in the kitchen for 3 hours (I'm a slow cook) and make a subji along with them. Thus came about a nice hearty all-in-one meal -> Rajma Paneer Parathas!

  • 1 cup cooked rajma/ kidney beans (I used canned because I was lazy)
  • 1/2 block of paneer (~ 1 cup)
  • 7-8 green chilies
  • 1 medium red onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp corriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 bunch of corriander (chopped)
  • 2 cups atta (wheat flour)
  • salt to taste

1. Place the drained kidney beans, paneer, garlic, and green chilies in a food processor and pulse together.

2. Lightly fry the onions. Then add turmeric, red chili powder, corriander powder, cumin powder, and fennel seeds. Add the mixture from above. Then add the tomato paste and combine. Add salt to taste.

Note: I wasn't sure how the parathas would taste if I didn't cook the ingredients first. Most recipes don't require you to cook the above ingredients so you might be fine.

3. Taste the above cooked mixture and add additional spices accordingly. It should be at a spice level beyond what you are comfortable with because the atta will tone it down.

4. Allow the cooked mixture to cool. I placed it in the frig for 15 minutes to speed up the process.

5. Knead the above mixture and chopped corriander with 2 cups atta. Add 1/4 cup of milk and any additional water (a few tablespoons) needed in order to make a soft dough. Let it sit covered for 30-40 minutes.

6. Make parathas -> Make the dough balls larger than you do for roti; approximately the size of a lemon. Roll out the dough (it shouldn't be too thin), cook for 30 secs- 1 minute on a hot griddle on either side with ghee/ butter. Lightly fluff over an open flame for a few seconds.

7. Taste the first paratha and add more salt accordingly.

8. Serve with homemade yogurt and pickle!

Kuty's Twist

Food Processing:
I made the mistake of blending the kidney beans and paneer together a bit too much. This resulted in not really tasting the kidney beans and paneer in bigger chunks and as individual ingredients of the recipe. If you have the time, I would advise you to just mash the kidney beans separately and grate the paneer. You should still grind the green chilies and garlic.

Letting the atta/ dough sit:
Someone once told me to wrap the dough in a plastic bag or plastic wrap in order to get softer rotis which remain soft even after you put them in the frig. I've been doing that for a while and it seems to be working. Give it a try!

Creating the atta/ dough for parathas:
Many people make the dough for parathas separately, roll out the dough in to a thick circle, place a ball of the filling in the center, and then gather the edges of the dough above the mixture. They then lightly roll out the parathas. I have tried this in the past and it ended up being a huge messy disaster. I'm sure there is a correct way to do this AND the parathas will probably taste MUCH better. Why? Because they will probably taste more layered/ stuffed (i.e. layer of dough, filling, followed by a layer of dough). The parathas I made were definitely not "stuffed" parathas in the true sense, but it did take less time! :-)

Hopefully I'll attempt a "stuffed" paratha again in the near future...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pineapple Fried Rice

Source: Closet Cooking

My apologies for the lack of posts last month. Although I had been doing PLENTY of cooking, I didn't have time to blog due to family visiting me. The good news is that I was able to try a bunch of experimental recipes on my family, which will be coming your way!

So for some reason, I have never had much luck with creating Asian dishes. I'm convinced it's
because I'm not adding some "bad for you" secret ingredient like MSG or fish sauce (which the restaurants love to sneak in even though you are ordering a vegetarian dish.) Well this dish is jam packed with flavor and more! The original recipe has shrimp and fish sauce in it. I stripped it down and added my own veggies to create a vegetarian Thai Pineapple Fried Rice!

*Note: The other dish in this image is a failed attempt at making garlic eggplant tofu so I did not post the recipe :-)

**Update: Due to popular demand, you can find the original recipe to the eggplant dish here.

  • 2 cups uncooked rice (I used basmati)
  • Oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 6-7 red chilies
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 3-5 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 3-5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons curry powder (I used garam masala)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup cashews (roasted)
  • 1 medium sized pineapple, cut into small chunks (you can use canned, but I was ambitious and used fresh)
  • 1 medium head of broccoli
  • 1/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2-3 spring onions (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

1. Cook rice and completely cool. It's preferable if this is day old rice

2. Cut and steam cook broccoli

3. Heat oil in large vessel

4. Add onions, garlic, red chillies and red pepper and stir-fry until fragrant, about a minute.

5. Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, garam masala powder and sugar and stir-fry

6. Add the cashews and stir-fry for 30 seconds

7. Add the rice, break up any clumps and stir-fry for a few minutes

8. Add 3/4 of your pineapple, peas, broccoli and raisins and stir-fry to mix them in

9. Taste and adjust the following as needed: soy sauce, garam masala powder. You may need to add salt and as well. Add some red chili powder if the spice isn't enough for you. (If it's too spicy, add more pineapple or sugar.)

10. Remove from heat and serve garnished with chopped green onions and cilantro

Kuty's Twist

So this dish is actually a good 3 day process. Day1- Cook Rice, Day2- Complete Recipe, Day3- Optimal taste day!

This dish needs to sit for a while for all the spices and pineapple juices to blend together in order for it to have maximum flavor. It should be very spicy after you make it because the spice will die down by the next day. When I made this it was so spicy that I couldn't finish what was on my plate! The next day it tasted perfect because all the pineapple juices had blended in.

You can also add tofu and scrambled egg to this dish.

For the pineapple: Don't be afraid to use fresh pineapple because you have to cut it! I recently embraced my knives set, which I've had for 3 years. Up until now I only used the smaller knives in the first row. I've just started to use the bigger knives and it has made chopping SO much easier and faster. Don't be scared to use the big knives! You'll have your pineapple chopped up in no time. Also, if you want to be fancy, you can serve the rice within the empty pineapple shell :-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Salads #1- Grilled Vegetable Orzo Salad

Source: Kuty's Kreation

So I think the majority of all of us have a desired "weight range" we strive to be within. Unfortunately summertime has arrived and all the delicious California food has caught up to me. I've found myself past my weight spectrum.. so it's time to buckle down and start cooking some Summer Slimdown dishes!

I'm hoping that this a first in a long series of Summer Salads. My goal is to find healthy yet flavorful recipes.

  • 8 oz Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Head of Broccoli
  • 1 Bunch of Asparagus (8-10)
  • 1-2 Tomatoes
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1/4 Bunch of Coriander
  • 1 Avocado
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Feta (Optional)
  • 2-4 Garlic cloves
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne Pepper (for some spice)
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil (optional)
  • Lemon Juice

1. Preheat oven to the broil setting (Can you tell that I LOVE to broil? :) )

2. Boil water and cook orzo until al dente (don't overcook!)

3. Wash and chop the broccoli into small florets. Chop the asparagus into 1 inch sections.

4. Spray a pan with cooking spray and toss in the broccoli and asparagus. Season with Oregano, Cayenne Pepper, Pepper, Salt, Olive Oil (optional). Broil for 5-6 minutes. Toss around and broil for another 5-6 minutes until fully cooked and charred.

5. Chop the onion, cucumbers, tomato, avocado into cubes

6. Toss together the orzo, all vegetables, coriander with garlic, lemon juice, and salt to taste

7. Sprinkle on some feta cheese for an extra burst of flavor

Kuty's Twist

You can either steam or broil the broccoli and asparagus. I prefer the taste of vegetables when they're broiled.

I wanted to pack this for lunch for a few days this week so I stored the orzo, broccoli, and asparagus separately from the other veggies. The salad has a nice flavor if the orzo, broccoli, and asparagus are warmed up and then combined with the other cold veggies. The avocado should also be added right before serving since it tends to go brown.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bagara Baingan

Source: Edible Garden

Really, Edible Garden has just NAILED this recipe and even provides step by step pictures. I'll keep this short. This dish came out perfect! I'll try and provide instructions which will help you multi-task and make the dish faster.

  • 7-10 purple baby brinjals/ eggplants (depends on the size. My store sells very small ones)
  • 2 Tablespoons white sesame seeds (I don't use these often, but was able to buy a small packet for $1 at my local Latin market)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanuts
  • 2 Tablespoons grated coconut
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped fine
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (I used 2 Tablespoons)
  • A small lemon sized ball of tamarind
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to the broil setting

2. Dry roast the peanuts and sesame seeds until golden brown

3. While this is roasting clean your brinjals, trim the stems, and make deep perpendicular slits at the bottom of each. Place on a pan coated with a little oil and broil. Broil on each side for about 7-8 mins until it's soft and slightly charred.

4. Place the roasted mixture along with a little bit of cold water and shredded coconut in the blender. Allow to cool for a little bit.

5. Place the tamarind in 1.5 - 2 cups water. Microwave on high for 1.5 mins. Break up the tamarind and let it soak.

6. While your roasted mixture is cooling, chop up the onions

7. Fry the onions and ginger garlic paste until golden

8. While frying, grind the roasted mixture with coconut to form a smooth paste. You can add as much water as you need to grind it.

9. Add the ground paste to the onion/ginger/garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add water if it starts to stick.

10. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, jeera, coriander powder and salt. Mix well and fry for another minute.

11. Add the tamarind water, mix and cook for 5 mins. Taste the gravy and add more spices/ salt if necessary. If it is too watery, boil it for some more time. (If it is too thick, add more water and boil.)

12. Add the brinjals and cook closed for 5-10 mins

13. Garnish with coriander leaves

Kuty's Twist

As I said before, the recipe from Edible Garden will come out great if you just follow the recipe. The only change I made was how I cooked the brinjals. I like to leave the stems on so it is easy (and more fun :P) to pick them up and take a good chomp out of them. I also broiled them rather than frying them. I am sure frying them (with a lot of oil) will make the dish taste better!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tandoori Tempeh Sandwiches

Source: Kuty's Kreations!

So I've eaten a few absolutely amazing Tempeh sandwiches in my life. For some reason I had gotten it into my head that it must be a very complicated thing to cook. Well it's not!

After eating the mouth watering Bali Bliss Sandwich at the Veggie Grill, I was inspired to try cooking with Tempeh. Of course my first attempt had to involve masalas.. and red chili powder! And YES.. this is an original Kuty Kreation!

There are several variations to this. You can be creative and add different toppings, and even vary the Tempeh with tofu or paneer.

Number of Servings: 4 Sandwiches


Sandwich Assembly
  • 2 Packages of Tempeh (You can probably makes this with tofu or paneer instead)
  • 8 Slices of Sourdough Bread (I used Wheat Sourdough Bread)
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • Cheese Slices (Optional. I used Havarti cheese just out of curiosity. Mozzarella or Cheddar would work fine)
Indian Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Vegan Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Bunch Coriander Leaves (cilantro)
  • 6-7 Peppercorns
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Green Chili
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Tandoori Masala Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes
  • Half Bunch Coriander (Cilantro)
  • 3 Green Chilies
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1.5 - 2 cups Yogurt
  • Lemon Juice to taste
  • Pinch of Salt

1. Prepare the Tempeh
Cut the Tempeh into fourths (so you have 8 pieces in total). Place in boiling water for about 10 mins. Pat dry and poke a few holes in each piece with a fork. While you are boiling the Tempeh you can prepare the Marinade.

2. Prepare the Marinade
Blend together all of the ingredients for the marinade with 1 cup of yogurt. Taste the marinade. If it seems too spicy add yogurt as necessary. (Note: The marinade should be a bit spicier than you can handle because the Tempeh will end up being a tad less spicier.)

Marinate the Tempeh in this mixture for 3-4 hours. Overnight is best. (Of course I was too impatient to eat this so I only marinated it for 1 hour. I'm sure it will taste better tomorrow!)

4. Prepare the Fix-Ins

You can put any veggies you happen to have in the fridge.

Onions: I chopped up the onions into rounds and caramelized them (sauteed the onions in butter until they turned very brown.)

Grilled Red Pepper: Cut the Red Pepper into big slices (about 8). Toss with olive oil and pepper. Broil until blackened.

5. Broil/ Grill the marinated Tempeh pieces on each side for about 10-15 mins until it changes color and starts to blacken.

6. Indian Mayonnaise
Blend together all of the mayonnaise ingredients.

7. Grill the bread slices and melt the cheese on one side of the bread.

8. Assemble your sandwiches with 2 pieces of Tempeh, mayonnaise, and all the fix-ins! ENJOY!

Kuty's Twist

Instead of the Indian Mayonnaise, this will surely taste as good with a simple raita (yogurt) dressing with cucumbers. Instead of bread, you can make it into a wrap too.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shortcut Spicy Malai Kofta

Source: Fun and Food Blog

In honor of my husband's birthday week, I wanted to cook his most favorite dish in the world, Malai Kofta. (Funny thing is that similar to the Fun and Food blogger, my husband ALSO actually judges the quality of an Indian Restaurant by it's Malai Kofta.) I had told myself that I wouldn't ever try making it because it would never match his restaurant standards, but curiosity gave in.. and here I am.

I tried making this about 2 months ago and it was a total disaster. I've made multiple recipes from Fun and Food Blog, so I was quite confident that this recipe would turn out well. For some reason my koftas completely broke apart and ended up being a messy oily disaster. Deep frying is also my worst enemy. It never turns out well and is a mess to deal with the oil and cleaning the vessel afterward.

It was 7:30pm after a long day at work, and the last thing I wanted to do was even consider deep frying again.. and then the light bulb went off! Trader Joe's Vegetable
Masala Burgers!


  • 2 medium Onions - finely chopped (I used 1 big onion)
  • 1 can of Tomato Puree (I used 3 roma tomatoes)
  • 12-15 Cashews
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp Kitchen King Masala
  • 2 tsp Jeera
  • 1 tbsp Cumin-Coriander Powder
  • 2 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 cup Fresh or Whipping Cream (I used 1/2 cup)
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Green Cardamon
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 big tbsp Tandoori Masala
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

Blend the tomatoes with cashews, kitchen king masala, cumin-coriander powder, garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric powder to smooth paste. (Yes.. these masalas make the gravy VERY spicy!)

Heat oil in a pan and add jeera, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf and saute it for a few mins, then add the chopped onions to it till they are pinkish golden in color. Add the ginger-garlic paste, and then the tomato-cashew puree. Add 1 1/2 cups water and mix well to form the gravy. When it starts simmering add salt, tandoori masala, and whipping cream and cook for further 10-15 minutes over a low flame. If you think it is thick and need to make it liquid, add some whole milk (I just added water and it tasted fine).

Remove from heat, mix in finely chopped coriander and keep it aside. I also added some lemon juice.

Kuty's Twist: Masala Burger Koftas!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Defrost the masala burgers and mash them with your hands. You should be able to mash and form 4 balls or log shaped koftas from 1 burger. These burgers have the perfect texture to form into nice shapes. You won't need to add any breadcrumbs or besan. And best of all.. No deep frying!

Place your koftas on a sprayed pan. Bake for 10-15 mins (flip over once). Broil for 1-2 mins if you want a crispier taste.

Contrary to the original recipe, the tandoori masala made the gravy more red than yellow. I added extra turmeric powder, but still wasn't able to get that rich yellow color.

Keep the koftas and gravy separate and pour
the gravy over them when it's time to serve.

p.s. Thanks to my dear friend Ulupi. who partially gave me this idea. She has used these burgers to make aloo tikki chaat.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Avocado Gazpacho w/ Spiced Croutons

Source: Food Network- Torie Ritchie

This is perfect for a hot day and is both vegan and raw.



  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced (I only used One)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup vegetable broth (I used 1 bouillon cube w/ 1 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus additional, for garnish
  • 1.5 jalapenos, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced (including green tops)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 garlic cloves (I love garlic, you can put less)
  • 1 Tomatillo
  • Salt
Note: Only the Gazpacho is raw and vegan. The Croutons are not.
Spiced Croutons
  • 3 big slices of sourdough bread (or any bread you have)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili
  • Black Pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F. Cut bread into medium cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Toast in oven until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Melt butter and stir in ground chili powder, salt, cumin, and pepper to taste. Toss and coat bread cubes. Return to oven and toast 5 minutes more.

In a blender, puree cucumbers, lime juice, 1/2 cup broth, 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, jalapenos, green onions, garlic, tomatillo, and 1 of the avocados, diced. Season, to taste, with salt. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until next day.
To serve, thin gazpacho with additional broth if desired. Dice remaining avocado finely and add to gazpacho base. Pour into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves and croutons.
Kuty's Twist:
Croutons come out great with sourdough bread!

I only added 1 cucumber since I've heard it doesn't keep too long. My other additions included garlic and a tomatillo. Tomatillos add a nice tangy flavor to this.

If you are desperate to eat this right away, which I was, pour a small amount into 1-2 bowls and stick it in the freezer for 10 mins!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese w/ Jalapenos

Source: Over The Hill And Roll

It's only fitting that my first post is the cheesiest dish I've ever made! This one's for mom, who loves cheese as much as I do.

  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup planko bread crumbs
  • 5 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon red chili pepper pepper
  • 4 cups grated sharp white cheddar
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese (I only used 8oz)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 Jalapenos
Start boiling your water to cook the macaroni.

Warm milk and 6 Tablespoons butter over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, whisk in flour and continue until mixture bubbles and thickens, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove cheese mixture from heat and stir in salt, black pepper, red chili powder, 3 cups cheddar and all of the gruyere. Stir and allow to cool slightly. Taste a little and add more black pepper if necessary. (I like a lot of black pepper in mine.)

Cook macaroni for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water (the macaroni will continue cooking in the oven). Drain and run under cold water. Add macaroni to cheese mixture and combine. Pour mixture into buttered/ sprayed baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Kuty's Twist

Slice up 2-3 jalapenos and pan fry them til they are crispy. Set aside.

Take 1 cup planko bread crumbs and lightly cover them with oil or melted butter.

After the macaroni has baked for 20 minutes, mix in the jalapenos and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake together for another 10 minutes. If the breadcrumbs don't start to brown, set your oven to the broiler setting.

Serving suggestion for a dinner party: Bake the mac and cheese in individual ramekins.