Typical Maharashtrian Indian dish
Serves 4

1 cup usal dal mix
3-4 tbsp usal masala
2 onions, chopped roughly
4-5 green chillies
1/2 inch ginger
3-4 cloves garlic
3-4 tomatoes
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 lime

to taste
Canola oil

Soak usal dal mix overnight. Cook in pressure cooker with a piece of ginger, pinch of asafoetida and pinch of salt; 5 whistles on high heat and 5 on low.
Cut big chunks of the garlic, ginger, onions and tomatoes.
Heat the oil and saute the cumin seeds for a few seconds.
Add garlic, ginger and green chillies and saute a few more seconds.
Add onions and cook until soft.
Add all

the dry masalas and cook for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and cook until the oil separates and the tomatoes are soft enough to blend into a paste.
Cool the mixture enough to blend it into a paste.
Mix the paste with the cooked usal dal. Add water and salt as desired. Top with cilantro and lime juice…yum!


Typical Parsi Indian dish
serves 6-8 (we make extra since it freezes well)

1/2 cup toovar dal
1/2 cup masoor dal
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp split green or yellow moong dal
2-3 zucchinis
1/2 eggplant
2 potatoes
2-3 onions
2-3 garlic cloves
3-4 tbsp tomate puree
3-4 tbsp shredded coconut
3-4 tbsp dhanshak masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste
Canola oil

Cook dals together in a pressure cooker.
Zucchini, eggplant and potatoes should be an equal amount approx. Chop them roughly in a food processor until the pieces are tiny enough to cook easily.
Blend 2 onions, garlic, shredded coconut and dhanshak masala with a little water to make a paste. It shouldn’t be cialis online dry but not too liquidy either.
Chop 1/2 to 1 onion. Heat oil and saute chopped onions until soft. Add paste and cook 5 mins or so. Add tomato puree and cook another 3 mins. Add chopped veggies and cook for a few minutes. Add water and allow veggies to cook (it shouldn’t take long since they were chopped fine in a food processor). Add the cooked dals. Add water to desired consistency. Add salt and red chili powder. Mix/ Emulsify the dhanshak with a wisk. Serve hot with bread/ toast or onion rice.

Note: For yum onion rice, saute onions until almost dark brown. Add it to the rice and then cook the rice with salt as usual.

Quinoa salad with fennel, avocado, grapefruit and radish

Source: magazine at spa
Makes about 3-4 large servings

1 c quinoa
2 limes zested
3 pink grapefruits peeled, sliced, white membrane removed
2 avocados sliced n peeled
3/4 bulb fennel cored viagra cheap n sliced
3 pink radishes, finely sliced
4-5 tbsps feta crumbles
sea salt n pepper
juice of 1 lime
3/4 tsp ginger
6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp low fat half n half

1. Rinse the quinoa and cook it with the lime zest. Once water has evaporated, turn off heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside in a bowl to cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine grapefruit, avocado, fennel and radish slices, and toss gently.
3. Make the dressing by adding ingredients in the following order: salt, pepper, lime juice, ginger and olive oil.
4. Emulsify with a small wisk and finish with low fat half-and-half; keep aside.
5. Add the quinoa, feta & parsley to the vegetables & fruit. Toss gently with the dressing and serve.

The DIY Food Project: Butter… and buttermilk! (aka what to do with leftover heavy cream)

Don’t know about you, but I often will buy cream for something and have a decent amount leftover, which of course we don’t use for a week or so and it goes bad. Well, there is a super simple way to prevent that waste and in the process get some delicious homemade buttery goodness.

A couple weeks ago, I bought cream to make ice cream, and I only ended up using one of the two bottles I bought. So I was left with a little over 2 cups of cream. Since I knew we wouldn’t end up using, I decided to make butter:cialis price wouldn’t use all of that for anything, I decided to make butter (and buttermilk as a side product). Butter is simply made by beating the bejeezus out of heavy cream until the fat separates. So the basic procedure is:

Put the cream into a mixing bowl and start beating it with an electric mixer/beater. Just like when you are making whipped cream, it will start to thicken.

Initial whipping

As you keep going, it will start to get thicker/lumpier


And lumpier…


Until the fat separates. You’ll see the pool of buttermilk surrounding the fat. At this point, you have butter!


But you now have to separate the two. So put some cheesecloth over a mixing bowl and pour it in.


Lift up the cloth and start squeezing out the buttermilk

lump o’ butter

You’re essentially done. You can shape the butter if you want, which may make it easier to store and use. This is unsalted butter, so use it as you would normally for baking, bread, etc.


Oh, and delicious homemade buttermilk to drink, or put in pancakes, or make creme fraiche, or…



The DIY Food Project: Granola

Weekday breakfasts need to be quick and easy and what fits those requirements better than a bowl of cereal? Like almost all processed foods, breakfast cereals are a hard world to navigate….. frosted this and all natural that, most brands seem to promise you the world as far as the health benefits are concerned. No matter how healthy, very few store bought cereals are completely natural so it has been on our list of processed items that we intend to stop buying.

The problem was coming up with alternate breakfast items that would not leave us yearning for good old cereal, or in my case, completely skip breakfast because it was too much trouble. That’s where granola comes in. I won’t go into the benefits of granola, a google search with yield that information for you. And yes, you can buy granola at the store but as always, we believe homemade is better! Besides you get to customize it any way you like.

I typically make a batch over the weekend and these proportions last us two to three weeks, depending on how frequently we have it each week. You can have it with milk, but we prefer homemade yogurt (recipe to follow), some fruit and a dollop of homemade jam.

This recipe is taken from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. What I love about it is that it basically serves as a guideline and leaves room for you to customize it anyway you like.


6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds (e.g. combination of sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, etc.)
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
Dash of salt
1/2 to 1 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste
1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit (optional)

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, the coconut if you’re using it, cinnamon, salt, and sweetener. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. The mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.

2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the raisins. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until the granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator.

Once you master the basic recipe you can mix things up by using other whole grains such as wheat, rye, quinoa, millet, kamut, or brown rice flakes. Many recipes also call for adding 1/2 to a cup of vegetable or olive oil to the mix to help with the browning and clumping but I prefer to go without (at least when using oats) for health reasons. You could do a spiced version by adding another teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon each ground anise and cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon each freshly grated nutmeg and ground cloves, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Nut butters stirred into the honey/maple syrup are a great addition although you must keep stirring ever so often in the oven to prevent it the butter from burning.

Happy granola making!

The DIY Food Project: Dosa Batter

It’s become fairly common to buy dosa batter at Indian grocery stores, and for the most part these batters are pretty good.  But as with most things, homemade is almost always better!  This just requires some planning ahead of time, but is really simple to do.  Start the recipe the day before you plan on making dosa, so that it has time to soak and ferment.


  • 2 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. On the morning of the day before you plan on making this, add the rice to one mixing bowl and the urad daal and fenugreek seeds together into another.  Rinse each once with cold water, and then cover with about 2 inches of water and soak all day.
  2. In the evening strain both the rice and the daal/fenugreek seed combo, but reserve the liquids.  Add the rice to a blender, along with about 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid.  Start the blender and grind the rice into a smooth paste.  You will need to periodically add more water, but do this carefully.  If you add too much water, the mixture will be too loose for the rice to get properly ground.  At this point, you want it to be thick enough to really break down the rice and running enough for everything to move properly.  As long as you add water slowly, this point will be apparent.
  3. Once nice and smooth and sticky, transfer the rice to a mixing bowl.  Repeat this process with the daal mixture and soaking liquid, but start with less water (since there is less daal).  This mixture should become frothy and smooth with blended thoroughly.
  4. Add this to the rice along with the salt.  Cover with plastic wrap, but puncture the top of the plastic wrap, so that the gases generated from fermentation can release.  I forgot to do this once and my batter more or less exploded in the oven while fermenting!
  5. Turn your oven light on and place the mixing bowl inside and let it ferment overnight.  The volume of the batter should almost double by morning.
  6. Remove from the oven.  When you mix the batter, the air will release and the volume will decrease again.  At this point, you can either use the batter or refrigerate/freeze it.  When you do decide to make the dosas, make sure to bring the batter to room temperature first.

Brown Rice Masoor Pulao with Veggies

Source: Kumkum Mashi and other sources


2 cups brown basmati, soaked for 30 mins

1/2 cup whole masoor (lentils)

1 onion, sliced

1/2 cauliflower head, chopped into small pieces

1/2 cabbage, chopped into 1 inch piece

s, separated.

2-3 cloves

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 inch cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2-1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp cooking oil – canola/vegetable or olive.


1) Mix the

olive oil, lemon juice and garam masala and create a marinade for the vegetables. Coat the chopped veggies well with this mix.

2) Broil the vegetables at Lo heat until crisp and tender (takes 20-30 mins depending).

3) Cook the brown basmati with salt till almost cooked – the reason I like using brown rice is that it doesn’t easily turn to mush like white rice does. Yes, the flavor is different. Drain and keep aside.

4) Cook the lentils also separately with salt, cook until it’s done but make sure the skin doesn’t come off the whole masoor. Drain and keep aside.

5) Mix the rice and lentils.

6) Heat oil in a large saucepan. Sputter the cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper and add the sliced onions. Let onions cook until brown and caramelized. Add the rice and lentils and mix well. Add the roasted vegetables and mix well.


Garnish with raisins and cilantro/parsley, and sumac (optional). Serve with cucumber raita.

Yam, Zucchini, and Chickpea Salad

This makes for a great weekday or weekend lunch and can be made ahead of time.

SOURCE: Rivka on Food52

SERVINGS: 4 (as a side dish)
For the salad:

  • 2 yams or sweet potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Parsley springs, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced at an angle
  • Olive oil

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon, olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or silicone.
  2. Spread diced sweet potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast 35-40 minutes, then add zucchini and roast an additional 10-15 minutes, until both vegetables are softened inside and caramelized in spots. If vegetables haven’t caramelized at that point, pop them under the broiler for 3 minutes, and they’ll brown plenty.
  3. In a small frying pan over medium heat, saute chickpeas and whole garlic cloves in 1 tablespoon of olive oil (just enough to moisten) for about 3 minutes, until the chickpeas dry out a bit and are warmed through. Remove garlic cloves, chop finely, and reserve for dressing.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix chickpeas with yams and zucchini. Add parsley and scallions, and toss to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and half of chopped garlic. Add water by the teaspoon until the dressing is smooth and runny. Taste, and add additional chopped garlic if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over vegetables, toss to coat, and serve warm or room temperature.

Original food52 post

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Dum Jeera-Pepper Mutton

I had some very special friends over for dinner all the way from Los Angeles and it was their anniversary! So I whipped out this old recipe – a dish that my mom’s friend had made on many such special anniversary parties that she’d thrown for her friends.

Source: Kumkum mashi

  • 2 lbs boneless lamb or mutton with bone on.
  • 2 tbsp jeera/cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (almost ground)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Dry roast the peppercorns and cumin seeds and grind to a fine powder.
  2. Mix into yogurt, add the chopped garlic, oil. Put the mutton into this marinade and mix well.
  3. Let the mutton marinate for about 2-3 hours.
  4. Transfer into a slow cooker or crock pot or a dutch oven or a large oven proof dish.
  5. Slow cook in the cooker or if in oven, make the dish airtight by sealing with aluminum foil and cook at 350-400F. Cook until meat is very tender, falling off the bone. This takes easily 3-4 hours.
  6. When done, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice!

Easy homemade pancakes

We’ve been programmed since childhood to think that you need a pre-made mix to make pancakes/waffles. The sad reality is that all Aunt Jemima and her conspirators have done is take items you already have in your kitchen and put them in a box. This

pancake recipe came from Mark Bittman, who championed pancakes a few years ago. They’re simple and tastier than any store bought mix. Plus, it’s a great base from where you can really do some interesting additions. Some examples: Replacing some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, throwing in some oats, nuts, almond flour, buttermilk (one of my favorites), blueberries, chocolate chips… the list is almost endless.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (See note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
  • 2 optional tablespoons melted and cooled butter
  • plus unmelted butter for cooking, or use a neutral oil like grapeseed or corn

Serves: 4


Note about baking powder: Baking powder will not spoil, but it will lose its effectiveness. If it has caked and hardened from moisture, throw it away. It will cease to do its job of adding air to your pancakes and they will be flat and unappetizing. Make sure your baking powder is still potent before using it!

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk together the wet ingredients in another mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the two, and GENTLY stir together. Do not vigorously stir as this will develop the glutens in the flour and make the pancakes tough and rubbery instead of light and fluffy. Don’t worry about leaving some lumps, they will dissolve away when you put them on the griddle.
  4. Heat a griddle just until a drop of water sizzles and evaporates.
  5. Depending on how good your griddle is, it is optional to add some butter or oil to it before making the pancakes. Add a ladle full of batter and cook until bubble start to form on the top. Flip and cook again for about 30 seconds and serve.