Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kela Na Sambhariya (Spicy sliced bananas) from Gujarat Nu Jaman


6 bananas
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin/coriander powder (I just mix the two)
1 cup Bengal gram flour (I use less of this and more of the spices, so the flavor is more intense)
2 tsp sugar (I use much less, since the bananas are already sweet)
4 green chillies (serranos), chopped
1/2 cup oil


1. Cut off the bottom & top of the bananas and cut into fours, then put a slit in each part
2. Mix together the spices & the gram flour, and add the green chillis
3. Heat the oil enough to cover the bottom of the pan, and put the bananas in in a single layer. Cover the pot with a lid, and put water on it if the bananas are sticking. I use medium heat for this step.
4. Flip the bananas over after about 5 minutes (till the skins get soft and look darker). When both sides are done, serve!

Mexican Chocolate Torte (from the Book Club Lovers Cookbook)


For the torte
1 cup whole almonds with skins, chopped
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate (I used chips like used in chocolate chip cookies)
5 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Picture courtesy of Joy of

For the glaze
4 ounces fine quality bittersweet chocolate (I used as above)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (I used honey)

For the icing (I didn't do this)
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons milk

The Torte

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
2. To make the torte: Spread the almonds in a single layer in a shallow baking pan and toast, tossing every 3-4 minutes, until the nut meat is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes in all). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
3. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 1/2 inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pan with flour, knocking out the excess. (I just greased a regular cake pan and left the torte in there)
4. In a food processor, blend together the almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until the almonds are finely ground (I suggest doing this in batches and then adding a very small amount water or milk, because otherwise this mix clogs up the blending mechanism since its so dry). Add the chocolate and blend until finely ground. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and blend until combined well. The mixture will be thick. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
5. Place the egg whites and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar until the meringue just hold stiff peaks.
6. Fold about 1/3 of the meringue into the chocolate mixture, and then in batches. Pour the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and bake 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool.

The Glaze

1. In a metal bowl set over barely simmering water, combine the chocolate, butter, cream and corn syrup (honey).
2. Stir until smooth, and let the glaze cool until its just lukewarm.
3. Pour the glaze over the torte, and smooth with a spatula. Decorate as you like (I used almonds).
4. Allow the glaze to cool.

The Icing (Optional)

1. Whisk together the confectioner's (powder) sugar and 1 tsp of the milk in a small mixing bowl. Add just enough of the remaining milk, drop by drop, to form a thick icing.
2. Transfer to a pastry bag with a 1/8 inch plain tip and decorate your torte.

To serve
I set the oven to 275 degrees F and leave the torte in it for about 10 minutes. It melts the glaze and warms it a little. Yummy!

Mango chaat recipe for 4 as an appetizer (from India's 500 best recipes):


scant cup of unsalted peanuts
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 mango, peeled, stoned and diced
1 fresh green chilli, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp lime juice
pinch of brown sugar

If you don't have chaat masala, you can make it with:

Recipe photo courtesy Google

2 tsp ground, toasted cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp mango powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
a pinch of ground asafoetida
salt and ground black pepper to taste


1. Chaat masala: grind all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper
2. Fry the peanuts in oil till lightly browned and then drain till cool on kitchen towel
3. Mix the onion, cucumber, mango, chilli, fresh coriander and mint in a bowl. Sprinkle on the chaat masala.
4. Stir in the lime juice and sugar to taste. Set aside for 20-30 minutes
5. Before serving, add more chaat masala on top.


Potato-Spinach curry

Spinach Potatoes, Indian Style, for 4 (recipe & photo taken directly from Food.Com)


  1. 1
    Fry the cumin seeds in a heavy bottomed pan in a bit of oil and butter until just starting to brown.
  2. 2
    Add the onion and fry until it too starts to brown.
  3. 3
    Add the potato, garlic, turmeric, ginger and garam masala and fry until the potato starts to soften.
  4. 4
    Unless you are using a non-stick pan, you may need to add water and cover to keep the potato from sticking and to help it cook. The first time I did this 1/2 cup at a time and it took about 20-30 minutes but I now prefer to parboil the potatoes, which means you add less water and it only takes about 10 minutes to finish off from this point.
  5. 5
    Add the spinach or chard and cook until it collapses over the potato.
  6. 6
    Salt to taste.
Read more:

Kidney beans with curry leaves for 4 (excerpted from India's 500 best recipes)

Photo credit from Nandini's food


3 fresh green chillis, chopped finely (remove the seeds to make them less potent if you prefer, I leave them in)
1 medium carrot (I used baby carrots and sliced them lengthwise)
2 oz green beans, chopped into 1" bits (remove ends and string)
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
1 tbsp oil
12 curry leaves
3 sliced garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 dried red chillis
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 can drained red kidney beans
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
I also added coriander & cumin powder to taste


1. Heat the oil on medium heat, and add the curry leaves, garlic, fenugreek seeds and dried chillis slowly.
2. Once they give off their aroma (3-4 minutes), add the green chillies, green beans and peppers.
3. Sautee for 3-4 minutes more, then add the lemon juice and salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Serve immediately, with rice!

Sonali's Lemon rice for 6 (yummy!!!)


Cooked rice (2 cups) - I used brown
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Garlic - 2 pods (or to your liking), finely chopped
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste (1-2 tsp)
Serrano chillies - 1-2, chopped finely
Lemon juice - 3 tbsp (or to taste)
Curry leaves (optional) - 10-12 leaves
Frozen peas (optional) - 1/2 cup
Cilantro - for garnish
Picture credit: from Chef In You.Com


1. Heat the oil on medium heat and add the mustard seeds & cumin seeds. You may need to cover the pot when the mustard seeds start to pop. Once the cumin is browned and the mustard is giving off its scent, add the curry leaves (if using) and saute till they get dark and give off their aroma. Finally, add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the salt, turmeric and serranos to this mixture. If you are using peas, add them now.
3. Add the rice and saute till the rice is heated through (3-4 minutes). You may need to add a dash of water to prevent the rice from sticking. Finally, add the lemon juice slowly as you continue to saute the rice.
4. Right before you are ready to serve, garnish with cilantro.