Tag Archives: spices

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies with Chrysanthemum Petals

Our family loves Mexican hot chocolate. That creamy hot chocolate with cinnamon and a hint of cayenne pepper – yummy ūüėč! ¬†So when I came upon a hot chocolate recipe in the May issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine that took the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate and transformed it into a cookie, I had to try it. An added bonus is that the ingredients for these cookies are ingredients I usually have in my pantry.

Continue reading Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies with Chrysanthemum Petals

Purple Potato, Pepper & Baby Turnips Curry

My friend Pallavi made this outstanding Indian curry with purple potatoes, peppers and baby turnips when we went to her and her husband Parag’s place for dinner one Saturday evening. ¬†This combination of vegetables was very unusual for me, but as I found out it wasn’t a veggie combination that Pallavi makes often either. Pallavi explained that she had just picked up these vegetables from the Farmer’s Market and decided to use this rather unusual combination of veggies as the inspiration for her very delicious¬†North Indian spiced curry. ¬†Here is the recipe. Continue reading Purple Potato, Pepper & Baby Turnips Curry

Haricot Verts with Cumin Seeds, Asafoetida and Turmeric

This is my all time favorite way to have haricot vert beans Рlightly seasoned and cooked to perfection.  If you are looking for a unique way to serve green beans, this is the recipe to try.

Haricot vert beans also known as French green beans tend to be skinnier than the regular green beans, and because of this, they cook faster and taste fresh even after being lightly sautéed with spices. Hericot vert green beans are so tender that they taste amazing when they are cut into tiny pieces allowing the delicate flavors from the interior of the green beans to come through. Continue reading Haricot Verts with Cumin Seeds, Asafoetida and Turmeric

Toor Daal. Pigeon Peas Cooked in Spices

Toor daal comes in many variations in India, as varied as the country itself, and they all taste great. Creamy yellow lentils cooked so tender they fall apart, all seasoned with spices and served over white rice has a taste that is just heaven.  Most Indian restaurants have toor daal on their menu Рsometimes they may just call it yellow lentil soup.

Here is a recipe for toor daal my Mom taught me over three decades ago after returning from a visit to Ahmedabad, India. Continue reading Toor Daal. Pigeon Peas Cooked in Spices

Green Chili and Cilantro Rice with Cauliflower & Peas

My friend Veena is the Rice Queen. I’ve known Veena for over twenty years now and over the years I have had the most amazing South Indian Tamil foods prepared by her. Anything and everything she cooks is outstanding. ¬†One of her specialties is making the most creative rice dishes I have ever had. Her¬†rice dishes are always flavored to perfection and positively delicious.

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Indian Scrambled Eggs with Green Chili, Ginger, Onions & Turmeric

Here is a recipe for Indian style eggs that is packed full of flavor with good for you ginger and turmeric. In India scrambled or fried eggs are typically made with chopped onions, cilantro, green chilies, and finely grated ginger, and sometimes spiced with a pinch of turmeric. Once in a while I love making Indian scrambled eggs for a change from my usual omelet.

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Geetha Masi’s Vegetable Biryani

Biryani, which is a very popular rice dish in all parts of India packed with vegetables and exotic spices comes in many variations. Each biryani recipe can be as unique as the families that make them. All biryanis are cooked with rice, spices and vegetables. Some may have meats as well. Depending on what region of India one is from and their own family traditions biryani can be made with coconut milk, shredded coconut, paneer, combination of meats, and a wide variety of unique spice blends.

This recipe is for one variation of biryani that I learnt how to make from Geetha Masi ¬†(Masi meaning respectfully Aunty). ¬†Geetha Masi was visiting us from Mumbai, India and offered to cook a dish that I wanted to learn – biryani was the dish I chose. Continue reading Geetha Masi’s Vegetable Biryani

Zucchini Curry with Mushrooms & Paneer

I made this zucchini curry with mushrooms and paneer with a third of a giant zucchini I received from my friend Karen. This zucchini was huge and I had to come up with some creative ways to use this crudités.


My first dish was an Indian curry.  I was having some friends over for dinner and a fresh zucchini curry with mushrooms and paneer seemed like a perfect dish to make for the occasion.

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Cardamom Rosemary Shortbread Cookies with Coconut Oil

I love shortbread. That buttery cookie with just a hint of salt that goes so well with tea is a favored cookie of mine, mainly because it doesn’t compete with my afternoon tea. It satisfies my cookie fix without being too sweet. ¬†So I thought why not try making shortbread cookies at home? ¬†This way I can flavor it with some exotic spices to make it interesting.


It just so happens I had the perfect opportunity to make shortbread cookies as my friend Devi was coming over for lunch. ¬†Devi has been telling me for years that she doesn’t have too many sweets, but what she does have every day is a cookie with her afternoon tea. Instead of making a dessert for our lunch I decided to make shortbread cookies, and flavored them with cardamom and rosemary.

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Vegetarian Paella

There is something about paella that makes it such a fun summertime meal.  Could it be because it is the favored dish of always-sunny Spain?

For years I yearned to try paella, but I could never find a vegetarian version. Then a couple years ago we went on holiday to Santa Barbara, California where we had dinner at a Spanish/Mexican restaurant called Cava. Cava Restaurant in Montecito. Santa Barbara, California


One of the items on the menu was paella with a note next to it that read, “This can also be made¬†vegetarian.”¬† I couldn’t believe it! I was finally going to taste paella! I ordered Cava’s vegetarian paella and I absolutely loved it! ¬†I wanted to try and make it at home after we got back. But first I had to understand the key ingredients that make up paella before I could make an authentic vegetarian version. Continue reading Vegetarian Paella