All posts by admin

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Sweet and Sour Spicy Karela (Bitter Melon )

Karela, also known as bitter melon. Sweet and Sour Karela has a very unique taste. This dish is a combination of all the flavor in one, it is spicy, sweet, sour, and bitterness of the Karela. That is what make this recipe very unique. Karela, (Bitter melon) also is a healthy vegetable with many health benefits. This was one of my favorite side dish specially for school lunch box, Karela rolled up with left over Puri or Paratha from previous day, tasted delicious. We also enjoyed this sweet and sour karela as a side dish with Toor Dal and Rice. This is multi flavor healthy side dish this can also be serve as a condiment. Enjoy!


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Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding is a simple and delightful dessert. My son is on a vegan diet and one day he mentioned he was craving a dessert like a chocolate pudding or mousse. I think he was giving me a not-so-subtle hint that he wanted me to experiment with this! I decided to give a try and he was very happy with the results! Soon after that this became a favorite dessert with others in my family. It’s funny because my family’s favorites keep changing! This is a super simple and easy recipe to make. I can prepare this dessert on demand and with limited notice for my grandchildren, who love to request dishes last minute! This rich chocolatey dessert is vegan and gluten-free.


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Khasta Kachori Besan

Khasta kachori is a delicacy from north India. Khasta kachori is a spicy puffed pastry. Kachories are made with a variety of different filling, and I have many recipes for Khasta Kachori. They are my favorite over samosa. Maybe one of the reasons is I can prepare them even a few days before and can be served at room temperature and served many different ways, even serving as chaat. Traditionally kachori is sold at HALWAI (a sweet and snack shop). Today, I am using spicy besan filling. These mouthwatering Kachories can be served as a snack, chaat or part of the main meal, making the meal exotic.

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Punjabi Aloo Paratha

Aloo Parathas make for the perfect lazy weekend brunch. Parathas can be made plain or with a variety of different fillings. A flavorful potato filling is by far the most popular. Aloo Parathas are very popular in North India, at any time of the day. In Punjab, Aloo Parathas are a staple for breakfast. Traditionally, Aloo Parathas are served with homemade butter and buttermilk known as chaas. I’m sure you are thinking that making these parathas is very time consuming. With our busy schedules and hectic mornings, how is possible to prepare these! Of course, parathas taste best when fresh off a hot skillet! An easy solution to this problem is to simply prepare part of the recipe in advance until you are ready to roll the parathas. You can prepare the dough and filling in advance and have the potato-mix filled balls ready to just start rolling. The prepared dough can be refrigerated for up to two days. Enjoy!

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Paneer Petha Ka Ladoo

Many sweets are made using paneer, which is freshly made homemade Indian cheese. Paneer Pethe Ka Ladoo is delicious and easy to make. This recipe was suggested by my friend Usha, who lives in Jaipur. I must say I really enjoy paneer-based sweets, which include Rasgullas, Ras Malai, Sandesh and many more! I decided I would give a paneer-based dessert a try, Paneer Petha Ladoo. Paneer desserts are considered very classy and for a sophisticated palate. They also are typically very refreshing, delicious, and easy to make. Another reason I like to make paneer sweets is because it is very difficult to mess up the recipe! You can start with one recipe for a paneer dessert and then if it doesn’t turn out right, it is very easy to fix and come up with a new recipe! Another favorite dessert of mine is Petha, which is a famous sweet from Agra (India). Petha is made from white pumpkin and sugar.

Springtime & Holi!

I am very excited about the weather becoming warmer and Spring’s arrival. With this also comes Holi, one of my favorite festivals! Holi is the festival of colors and will be celebrated on March 28th. I am beginning my preparations as we speak! The house will soon be full of sweet aromas to indicate Holi is coming. Of course, this also allows me to spend more time in my favorite place at my home – the kitchen!

Inspiration for Vegetarian Recipes

As you all know, Indian cuisine will always be my favorite cuisine. It will always have a special place in my heart. However, we are living in different times. Our lifestyle has changed with the emerging culture. The same thing is happening with food. I like that the norms are changing. My family, especially my grandkids, are not happy just with traditional Indian food; they need variety, just like me. I experiment with the different food from different cultures, staying true to my guidelines.

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Basil Pesto Sauce

Lately pesto has become one of my favorite condiments to keep. Basil Pesto is an Italian delicacy. It is super easy to make, and you can use it in so many ways, making variations of dishes. My grandkids enjoy pesto pasta, my son’s favorite is making pesto sandwiches, and I like salad and roasted vegetables with pesto. Pesto has a vibrant color and brightens up any dish you make. Basil is a very aromatic herb. I have basil plants in my backyard. Because basil is the main ingredient for this recipe, I am always prepared. This is also vegan and gluten free recipe.

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Zucchini Lentil Pakoras

As pakoras are one of the most welcoming snacks all over India. It is a popular street food. Everyone has their own favorites and there are countless recipes. Pakoras are a very comforting snack especially when it is cold, and it is raining. Here, we are experiencing both and I am wishing for pakoras with a hot cup of chai, blanket and a good TV show or movie. In a particular magazine, I saw a fusion pakora recipe. Instead of using traditional beasn batter, the chef had used red lentil batter. Several times, I have used moong dal batter, but I never even thought about using red lentil. I was ready to give it a try with another pakora recipe using lentil batter. I made some changes and added chopped ginger that added a nice kick to the pakoras. They turned out to be mouthwatering appetizers: crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. These pakoras are addicting! These work as a tasty pairing with your afternoon tea or a spicy delicious snack before any meal. These pakoras have a different crispness but are very delightful. Give these pakoras a try and enjoy! These Pakoras are also vegan and gluten-free.

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Coconut Paratha

Coconut Paratha is a delicacy, I make parathas with so many different fillings, but I will say this is very different from others. Coconut Paratha can be served with the main meal, but one can also enjoy this as a snack with a hot cup of chai. One day, my younger sister Kumkum, who is an excellent cook, called me from India and told me that I must try this coconut paratha, that I will love it. So, in fact, this is her recipe. She is also a big help who I can call when I get lost with the new recipes I am trying. She always has good suggestions. This paratha has a complex flavor. Usually, stuffed parathas are not very thin, but coconut paratha is very thin and mildly spiced. They taste best when they are served hot. The paratha is crispy from outside and its inside filling has a different texture that is well balanced. Coconut parathas also taste as delicious when they are served at room temperature with pickle.

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Paneer Tomato Curry

Paneer tomato curry is a delicious and sophisticated side dish. My husband, who enjoys paneer dishes in every form, asked me to make a paneer dish, which is different than what I have made before. It should not be creamy. So, I decided not to add cream or nuts. Also, as per Alex’s request, I did not add spinach. After trying to make a new recipe, I landed on Paneer Tomato Curry. Alex really enjoyed this. I knew this was a hit with him because he cleaned up the entire plate. You all know he is my videographer, so this was the next recipe he wanted me to make.I have done many paneer recipes. They all are starting to look the same. In this recipe the paneer is first grilled and then simmered in tomatoes. This is an amazingly simple and quick recipe and is very satisfying. Hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy!

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Palak Kadhi (Spinach Ki Kadhi)

Palak Kadhi is a tasty side dish. It is spinach cooked with yogurt and besan (gram flour) and mildly spiced. I think Kadhi is one of the most enjoyed dishes all over India. Kadhi is made in so many ways in different parts of the country. One main ingredient remains the same: besan. At my house, kadhi was made thick and with dumplings. In Gujarat, Kadhi is made very watery and taste like sweet and sour soup. I enjoy the dishes which are made using besan. Palak Kadhi has become a comfort side dish for us. It is easy to make and can be served with any meal.

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Vegan Rice Kheer (Payasam)

Kheer is a very traditional Indian dessert and is enjoyed by people of all ages. Kheer is made in many different ways using rice, different nuts, and vegetables but milk is the main ingredient to make kheer. I have been wanting to make rice kheer for my son who happens to be vegan and loves kheer. This is my version of vegan kheer: instead of milk, I used almond and coconut milk. After trying many different dairy free milk, this was the best combination I enjoyed. This recipe is also quick and easy to make and is delicious. You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy this kheer.

Manjula’s All-Time Favorite Appetizers

There is something unique about appetizers: they are the most wanted and interesting part of the meals. Appetizers can be served any time but in India mostly it is served at teatime and is known as snacks. This is a wonderful feeling among all where we can forget about all the rules of healthy eating. While mingling with friends, we indulge in these aromatic and good-looking treats. Appetizers provide a great time for icebreakers, where you can get to know better people you may be unfamiliar with. It is easy to make these delicious looking appetizers the center of the conversation.

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Aloo Palak (Spinach with Potatoes)

Aloo Palak is a versatile side dish that is a great complement to any meal. Aloo (potatoes) and Palak (spinach) are two vegetables I always have in my kitchen. Potatoes we all know are used in so many ways and have endless recipes. I also use spinach in many dishes. I thought I had done this recipe a long time ago, but today I made this dish for my family after some time and they enjoyed it very much and asked me if I have done this video recipe. I was looking on my website and realized I have not done this recipe yet. This is a common recipe, but this is my version of Aloo Palak. Adding fenugreek seeds and besan (gram flour) kicks off the flavor to the dish. For me and Alex, this is a comfort dish. This recipe is also vegan and gluten free. I serve this as a side dish, or I enjoy rolling it in a Roti or Paratha to make a to-go lunch. Alex especially enjoys making grilled cheese sandwiches filled with leftover Aloo Palak.