Mattar Paneer. Spiced Peas and Paneer

This recipe is for the very popular Indian dish called mattar paneer (peas and paneer). Mattar paneer is a North Indian green peas curry delicately spiced and cooked with paneer cheese. Mattar paneer is one of the easiest and quickest curries to make and tastes positivity delicious. Matter paneer tastes wonderful with chapati, as a stuffing inside a burrito, or even to have as a side dish with chicken or fish.  To keep this dish dairy free, try making the curry with tofu instead of paneer.


Mattar Paneer. Spiced Peas and Paneer


  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 cups frozen peas
  • 5 cloves garlic finely crushed
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 green chili for some heat. If you would rather have this dish mild, remove the seeds.
  • 2 cups Paneer cut into cubes or tofu
  • 4 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Juice of 1 small lemon


  • Heat 2 tbsp ghee or 2 tbsp oil.  Add cumin seeds and toast in oil for a few seconds for the aroma to release. Add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and chilies and sauté until onions are cooked and tender.
  • Next add turmeric, coriander powder, and garam masala and mix into the onions.


  • Add frozen peas, salt, and 1 cup water. Cover pot and cook peas until peas are tender, about 5-10 minutes.


  • While the peas are cooking, sauté paneer or tofu in 2 tbsp ghee until paneer is brown. Set aside.


  • Once the peas are cooked add paneer and cook with peas for additional 5 minutes to allow for the flavors to get absorbed into the paneer.  After 5 minutes turn the stove off.  Add juice of 1 lemon and stir in.


  • Mattar Paneer is ready.


  • Serve mattar paneer with chapatis, tortillas, or serve as a side dish.




Garlic Pasta with Baby Spinach

Garlic pasta with baby spinach is our family’s all-time favorite pasta. I’ve been making this pasta for over twenty years and it always tastes the same – positively scrumptious 😋. I started making this pasta when my older daughter Sri was in preschool. She loved pasta (still does). Of course I made it with tomato sauce, and one with mixed vegetables, with pesto, one with cheese, and while they all tasted great, this version with garlic and baby spinach always got the best reaction.  There is something about the simplicity of finely chopped baby spinach, crushed garlic, and a touch of red chili flakes that puts this pasta in a league of it’s own.


Once I realized Sri loved garlic and baby spinach pasta so much, I started making it with tons more spinach to get more veggies in every bite. I would even make it when her friends came over, because kids being kids – they always wanted pasta for lunch or dinner. I insisted that if they must have pasta it had to be with tons of veggies – and the garlic pasta with baby spinach fit that bill perfectly.

Over the years Sri’s friends began to expect this spinach and garlic pasta when they came over. I remember a time when I made something else and Sri’s friends were disapointed – “Where is the garlic pasta with spinach?” they wanted to know. One of Sri’s friends liked this pasta so much she kept asking her Mom to make it at home, but somehow it never tasted the same. One day I got a call from her Mom asking for the recipe. She said her daughter insisted that she call and get the recipe from me – “According to my daughter, it’s the best pasta ever!

Cook’s Notes: Resist the temptation to do what I did over the years – I’ve added fresh tomatoes, I’ve added roasted veggies, some cream, or cheese sauce, and once I got lazy and didn’t finely cut the baby spinach – though all of these additions tasted good as a pasta dish can be – it never tasted as great as the baby spinach and garlic pasta.

For a delicous, healthy, and simple pasta that will not disappoint, try this spinach pasta recipe just the way it is, and see if this will become a favorite pasta in your family.  Enjoy!


Garlic Pasta with Baby Spinach:
makes 4-6 servings


  • 1 lb spaghetti or Angel hair pasta cooked al-dente according to package directions.
  • 8-10 cups – about 1 lb fresh baby spinach washed and finely chopped. If you can’t find baby spinach, use finely chopped fresh regular spinach. Chopping the baby spinach very finely allows it to evenly distribute itself in the pasta instead of bunching up into clumps.
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of red chili flakes
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan shavings for garnish


  • In a large pot heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add garlic and saute until tender – 10- 15 seconds. Add chili flakes and mix-into the oil to let the smoky flavor release. Now add chopped spinach and toss spinach in oil- about 2-3 minutes until the spinach is wilted.
  • Next add cooked spaghetti. Mix pasta into the spinach so that the spinach is evenly distributed in the pasta, using a fork to gently separate the spinach if it starts to bunch up.  Taste and adjust for salt.
  • Serve warm with a few parmesan shavings – but not needed. This pasta has so much flavor you can get by without the cheese.


Bon Appetito! 🍝🍷

Fresh Corn and Carrot Salad with Toasted Red Chili Oil

Sweet and mild and lightly seasoned with toasted red chillies and mustard seeds, this is one delicious salad that goes perfectly with any meal. The sweetness of carrots and corn, smoky red chilli oil and cumin, and the tang of lemon juice all give this salad that sweet, spicy, sour type of balance that is refreshing and delicious. My friend Radhika had made this outstanding fresh corn and carrot salad as part of a scrumptious South Indian vegetarian Tamil dinner.  Continue reading Fresh Corn and Carrot Salad with Toasted Red Chili Oil

Yogurt Rice

Yogurt rice has to be the most ubiquitous rice dish in South Indian Tamil homes. Every Tamilian ends their meal be it lunch or dinner with yogurt rice. Basically it’s white rice mixed with plain yogurt – that’s it. Yogurt rice is such an integral part of a Tamilian daily menu that even as toddlers yogurt rice is one of the first solid foods that are given to children. Yogurt rice makes a perfect summertime meal. It’s typically served at room temperature or the preferred way is cold.  I grew up with yogurt rice and I have passed on the love of yogurt rice onto Hitesh and my kids. When I make yogurt rice for dinner I always get a unanimous “Yes, yogurt rice!” reaction.  Continue reading Yogurt Rice

Jam Bars

These delectable bars are perfect to use up a few summertime fruit jams. With a flaky buttery crust, a fruity jammy middle, and a crumbly topping, these bars taste so good that one can never stop with just one piece. My friend Rose made these jam bars and dropped them off one afternoon and I have to say on a lazy summer afternoon they were the perfect sweet treat with a cup of tea.  I have to admit when I first saw the recipe it looked pretty intimidating, but when I got around to actually making the bars the recipe was surprisingly very easy to follow.  Give it a try! Continue reading Jam Bars

Parisian Inspired Vegetarian Club Sandwich

During our recent visit to Paris this summer, my daughter Sri and I had lunch and dinner at many of the cafes and restaurants we stumbled upon as we explored the city. One of the restaurants was Angelina on Rue de Rivoli. We liked Angelina so much that we stopped by more than once to try not just their desserts but their lunch as well. Angelina is a local favorite and has been in business since 1903. They are famous for their pastries, tea, and lunch service. At Angelina’s is where we tried their vegetarian club sandwich and absolutely loved it. Continue reading Parisian Inspired Vegetarian Club Sandwich

July in the garden. Lillies, dahlias and other stuff.

July arrived with a big bang of summer heat in our area.  Temperatures went up into the 80s and even in the high 90s.  But surprisingly my garden held up well, I only guess it’s because of all the giant trees in our garden that provide welcome shade to plants and people alike. The summer heat enticed all my lilies and dahlias to burst into bloom. I did have lots of other perennials blooming but my eyes and camera kept gravitating towards dahlias and lilies. When lilies and dahlias are in bloom it’s hard to focus on anything else – sorry other beautiful perennials.  Here is a look at how my garden did in July.  Continue reading July in the garden. Lillies, dahlias and other stuff.

Tomato Kosumalli. Tomato Salad with Toasted Mustard Seeds

Kosumalli is a South Indian Tamil salad in which raw vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and carrots are seasoned with mustard seeds, asafetida, and curry leaves that are toasted in oil.  Kosumalli is typically served as a side dish along with the main meal.  Here is a recipe for a very simple tomato kosumalli. Continue reading Tomato Kosumalli. Tomato Salad with Toasted Mustard Seeds

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