Thursday, March 31, 2016

Red Curry Paste

The ready made red curry paste found in stores is not vegetarian friendly. Shrimp paste or fish paste is one of the main ingredients in red curry paste. So I make my own vegetarian red curry paste from a recipe I found online.


1 Tbs cilantro roots
1 Tbs coriander seeds, soaked in water and drained
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,soaked in water and drained
4-5 dried red chili, soaked in water and drained
1 1/2 Tbs galangal
1/4 C garlic, peeled
3-4 Tbs lemongrass, sliced
1/2 tsp peppercorn,soaked in water and drained
2 Tbs salt
1/2 C shallots,peeled
1 Tbs Kaffir lime zest

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and make a paste or use a mortar.
This red curry paste can be used in making Thai Curry.
This curry paste will stay fresh for a couple weeks in the refrigerator and for a year in the freezer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pumpkin Thai Curry


Pumpkin is an awesome vegetable that gives a rich creamy taste without being fatty. This is my first attempt in using pumpkin in something other than Indian food. This pumpkin curry is creamy and slightly sweet, yet spicy.  My family loved this recipe.

1 chili pepper
1 C coconut milk
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
3-4 sprigs Thai basil leaves
1 lb pumpkin
1/2 Tbsp salt(adjust to taste)
1-2 Tbsp Vegetarian Red Curry Paste
1 C water
Red Curry Paste
1. Cut pumpkin. Slice the seeds from inside. Using a sharp knife peel the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
2. Julienne red chili pepper. Set aside.
3. Pour half of coconut milk in a large pot, over medium heat. Stir in Red Curry Paste and mix well with coconut milk. Cook till reddish oil starts to form, stir to let the oil bring out the flavor.

4. Add pumpkin and stir to coat pumpkin with curry sauce. Add the remaining coconut milk and water. Season with salt to taste. Simmer until pumpkin is soft, about 15 minutes or less depending on the variety of pumpkin.

5. Add sliced red chili pepper and torn kaffir lime leaves. Add Thai basil leaves. Turn the heat off. Stir to submerge the basil in hot curry to retain the green of the leaves.

6. Serve hot with cooked rice.

Red jalapeno pepper or red bell pepper can be substituted for Thai red chili pepper.
Any yellow pumpkin can be used for this recipe. I used yellow pumpkin and Kabooja squash.
The curry should be creamy with a hint of sweetness of the vegetable and spice from the curry paste.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Orange Cake

I had whole box of oranges from Costco. Some of them were going bad and I had to do something about it. My sister said that she made orange cake last month for her husband's birthday. Inspired by her I searched for an easy recipe and found one on This recipe is quick and easy to make. It is delicious without frosting too. This can be served at tea or as a dessert.


4 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2  C vegetable oil
2 C flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C fresh orange juice
2 Tbs orange zest(from 1-2 oranges)
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350oF. Grease and flour a tube/bundt pan.

2. Beat together the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer or with a had mixer until thick. Gradually beat in the oil.

3. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Then add orange juice. Beat until smooth. Then mix in the zest and vanilla.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for 45 minutes, or until tooth pick instered into the cake comes out clean.

5. Allow the cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completly.

6. Drizzle with orange glaze if desired.

Loaf pan can be used instead of bundt pan. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Stuffed Mushroom

Not all vegetarians like mushroom coz of its texture after it is cooked. It doesn't become too soft like other vegetables. I discovered my love for it after I moved to America. We can get all kinds of fresh mushrooms here, in farmers market and Asian stores. I was introduced to stuffed mushroom by my colleague. I've been making them ever since. Portobella mushrooms large, brown and flat. They are very good for grilling. Baby Bella looks like button mushroom, they are brown in color.

20 fairly large baby Bella mushrooms,cleaned, de- stemmed
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C bread crumbs(can be adjusted)
1 Tbsp dry parsley
1 tsp ground pepper
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cooking wine(sherry)

1. Scrape the inside of the mushroom and chop that and the stem from mushroom
2. Heat oil in a pan, saute garlic, onion and mushroom stem for 5 minutes. Add parsley and ground pepper. Stir in bread crumb. Mix well. Remove from heat. Mix in Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
3. Heat sherry in a broad pan Layer the mushroom in the pan once sherry boils. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set on a plate face down, so all liquid drains from mushroom.
4. Spoon the filling into all mushrooms.
5. Pour the liquid left in the pan into a flat rectangle baking dish. Arrange mushroom in single layer. 
6. Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes or until tops of mushroom are golden brown. Serve hot.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Jeeraga Rasam

At the first sign of cold my kids ask me to make them the awesome smelling rasam. That is our special jeeraga rasam. It is so soothing and brings comfort when we have cold. The pepper clears the sinus. My daughter comes into the house with a huge grin whenever I make this dish. My daughter prefers it without garlic.

lemon size tamarind soaked in 1 cup of water
1/4 t turmeric powder
1 pinch asafoetida
1 t coriander seeds
1 t cumin seeds
1/2 t black pepper
2-3 dried red chili
1/2 t toor dal
2 pods garlic(optional)
1 small tomato
hand full fresh curry leaves
salt to taste

1. Strain tamarind pup. Add turmeric, salt and asafoetida; boil in a saucepan for 5-8 minutes or till tamarind smell leaves.
2. Meanwhile blend the remaining ingredients except water to a coarse paste.
3. Stir in the paste to the boiling tamarind water. Let it simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2 cups water. Heat till froth is formed. Remove from heat.
4. Temper mustard and curry leaves in ghee and garnish the rasam.
Serve as soup for appetizer or over hot rice.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Jay's Kitchen: Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Jay's Kitchen: Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Mirchi ka Salan

1 onion chopped
10 medium green chili(pickle kind),slit and blanched in salt water
1/4 cup tamarind water
1/4 t turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/2 t jaggery
bay leaf
For masala
small 1 inch piece cinnamon
1 clove
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 t cumin seeds
1 Tablespoon roasted peanuts
2-3 red chili or as per taste
11/2 Tablespoon sesame seeds(dry roasted)
3 garlic flakes
2 Tablespoon fresh grated coconut

1. Roast cinnamon,clove,garlic, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chili in half teaspoon oil. Add coconut in the end. Grind this along with roasted peanuts and sesame seeds to a paste. Keep aside
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan. Saute onion, 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste until golden. Add turmeric powder. Drain blanched chili to the onion, reserving the water. Saute for 5 minutes. Pour reserved water and add salt to taste.
3. Stir in the masala paste. Add tamarind water. Cook on medium-low flame until oil separates. Add more water if required. Add jaggery.
Serve with biriyani.