Butter Nut Squash & Apple Soup with Indian Spices

Posted on 08. Oct, 2012 by .









Butter Nut Squash & Apple Soup with Indian Spices

2 lbs (1 kg) butternut squash, peeled and diced

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small onion, chopped

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

2 garlic cloves smashed

1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish

¼ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups vegetable broth or water

1 1/4 cups chunky apple sauce

1 green apple, diced

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel and dice butternut squash. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel seeds and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, nutmeg, turmeric, cumin, coriander garam masala, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until toasted, 1 more minute.

Add the diced butternut squash, broth and 2 cups water to the pot, cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the applesauce. Simmer, covered, until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes. Puree the soup with a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper; keep warm.

Peel , core and dice the apple, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, stirring, until browned; remove from the heat and add the vinegar. Top with the cilantro. Fold the mixture into the soup and serve hot.

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The Versatile Corn

Posted on 28. Jul, 2012 by .


Celebrate summer with corn’s delicious goodness and treat to be enjoyed at any meal. The versatile sweet corn can be used in everything from simple corn on the cob, corn cocktails, salads, corn bread, grits, salsa, polenta, soups, popcorn and even ice cream!. Here are 2 Indian inspired recipes. Enjoy the summer and share your recipes and ideas.










Grilled Chutney Sweet Corn

Serves 6

6 ears corn on the cob, blanched
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup store bought mint chutney
2 tsp. chili powder
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated fine
12 8-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mint chutney chili powder,, lime zest, lime juice and salt.

Cut the corn in half so you have 12 pieces, insert skewers into the ends of the corn being careful not to push the skewers through the other end. Place corn on the grill to warm and slightly roasted, 2 to 5 minutes. Once warm, brush the grilled corn with the chutney mixture and then roll in Parmesan cheese.


Sweet Roasted Corn Salad with Beans & Tomatoes

Serves 6

8 ears corn on the cob
2 cups black beans (cooked or canned), drained and rinsed
4 green onions, chopped
3 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
¼ teaspoon green chili pepper, seeds removed
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon chaat masala ( optional)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish

Grill the corn until lightly roasted. Cool and shuck corn. In a shallow baking pan, stand each cob on its larger end, holding the tapered end with your other hand. Using a sharp knife, slice kernels off; transfer kernels to a bowl. Add beans, green onions, tomatoes ,red pepper and chilies.

In a small bowl, combine lime juice, salt, chaat masala and pepper. Pour onto corn mixture, add cilantro and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste before serving. This salad can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance, refrigerated, then brought to room temperature before serving.





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Indian Inspired Summer Grilling

Posted on 02. Jul, 2012 by .


Summer is here !!

Try something different this summer.

Create an Indian inspired Salad to go with all your grilled meats. Eat Healthy and Happy Grilling!

















Grilled Avocado, Paneer, & Red Pepper Salad with Green Chilli Mint Dressing by Chef Hari Nayak


1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled

1Tbsp. chopped mint

1 Tbsp. chopped green chilies

2 tsp. chopped cilantro

3 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. kosher salt

Ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

2 lemons, divided

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 Hass avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled

1/2 pound Paneer cheese, Thick slices (2in)

1 red pepper, cut in half and core removed

Salt and pepper

2 hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise

4 tomatoes, sliced into eight wedges

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese



To make dressing: In a food processor or a blender, combine avocado, mint, green chilli, cilantro, , lemon juice, salt, and pepper and process until very smooth, scraping down sides. With the motor running, add olive oil. Add enough cold water to make dressing pourable, about 3/4 cup. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make salad: In a small bowl, toss onion with juice from 1 lemon and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Set aside.

Preheat grill to medium heat. In a medium bowl, toss avocado halves , roasted red pepper and paneer cheese with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Grill cut side down until marks appear, about 1 minute. Remove from grill and set aside.

Brush cut side of romaine halves with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Grill cut side down until lettuce is slightly wilted and marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes.

Arrange the grilled avocados, paneer cheese, red pepper, grilled romaine, tomatoes, and marinated onions on a platter. Drizzle on some of the dressing, add salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve, passing extra dressing at the table.

For More Grilling Tips & Ideas Click Here

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Thanksgiving Dinner for Two – Green Chili Roast Chicken

Posted on 24. Nov, 2011 by .


Do you need something else than a traditional turkey? Try this whole roast chicken! Perfect for a couple or a dinner for two at home! The delicate flavors of the spices with the whole chicken make this a one of a kind dish that is just right for a special occasion like thanks giving. This dish calls for a very pretty presentation! Although it is slightly labor-intensive, the outcome and the visual appeal of this dish, more than make up for the difficulty of its preparation. I used to make this for festive family gatherings sometimes wrapped the whole chicken in banana leaf. This is also best served when you want to impress and surprise someone! Serve this with a side of roasted potatoes, veggies and a bow of steamed rice.

Serves 6

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon salt

1 (4-lb/1.75-kg) whole chicken

1 tablespoon oil

2 large onions, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

5 green chili peppers, minced

3 tablespoons ground almonds

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons garam masala

3 cups (120 g) fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped

3 to 4 tender banana leaves optional.


1. Rub the lemon juice and salt all over the chicken very well.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat, add the onions and cook until the they start to brown. Add the ginger, garlic, and green chili peppers and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Add the almonds, paprika, turmeric, and garam masala. Cook, stirring frequently, for an additional minute. Remove from the heat and allow the onion mixture to cool completely.

3. Place the cooled mixture in a food processor along with the chopped fresh coriander, and grind to a smooth paste. Rub the paste thoroughly all over the chicken and inside the cavity. Tie the legs of the chicken together to keep them in place. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

6. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and tender. Make sure half way thru the baking, turn around the pan even cooking.

7. Baste the chicken with some of the pan juices and return it to the oven for 10 minutes or until brown and the skin roasts well.

8. Place the chicken on a serving platter. Serve hot, and carve table side.




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Shrimp Puli Munchi – Hot & Sour Mangalorian Shrimp Curry

Posted on 20. Nov, 2011 by .














If you are fond of spicy south Indian flavors of seafood curries, this is a version that you will absolutely love. Meet “Puli Munchi” – Mangalorian version of hot and sour curry. Recently a friend from Mangalore shared this recipe which i tried at home with results that matched the Bar & Restaurants back home. I grew up eating a fried and dry version of this which is typically made with mackerel or pomfret. This is very popular in non-vegetarian restaurants in Mangalore, Udupi and Kundapur regions of South West India. I like to use shrimp as it is very easy and quick to prepare. For people who are hard pressed for time like me, it is best to make the puli munchi paste in small batches and refrigerate it. You can use it for a multitude of recipes including chicken and seafood curries. It is very important that you use the Bydagi Chillies from Karnataka. This is now available in Indian groceries stores in the USA!! great now i do not have to carry a bag full of these chillies when i travel back home!

• 1 lemon size ball of tamarind
• 10 to 12 dry red chilies (Byadge or Kundapur chilies)
• ½ tsp coriander seeds
• ½ tsp cumin seeds
• Pinch of turmeric powder
• 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
• 1 tsp mustard seeds
• 8 cloves of garlic
• 8 to 10 curry leaves
• 1 pound of medium raw fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
• Salt to taste

1. Soak the tamarind in water for about an hour and extract the pulp.
2. Dry roast the chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, 4 cloves of garlic with turmeric with 1 table spoon of oil
3. Use little water and grind the above to a fine thick paste with tamarind.
4. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, crushed garlic, when they splutter, add the paste, water as needed, salt and bring it to a boil.
5. Add the shrimps and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes.
6. Serve hot over rice.

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