Masala Dosa: Something you will never want to miss.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Red Kidney Bean Salad

My 100th post!!!! I thought it should be healthy :)


1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons high-quality red wine vinegar
2 cups small, sweet cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed
3 14-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 lb beans soaked overnight and boiled)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch of chopped green onion


1. In a small bowl, combine onions and vinegar. Set aside to marinate while preparing rest of salad, or up to three hours.
2. Halve cherry tomatoes and place in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Add kidney beans, onion mixture and olive oil. Toss gently to mix, adjust salt to taste, and serve.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eggplant Lasagna


2 medium eggplants
1 container (16-ounce) low fat small-curd cottage cheese
1 container( 15-ounce) part-skim ricotta
6 ounces part-skim mozzarella, grated (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cups grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
 Black pepper
1 cups roughly chopped fresh basil
1/2 cups roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 cups jarred marinara sauce


1.Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil two large rimmed baking sheets. Beat the egg and egg whites together in a shallow bowl. Place the bread crumbs and flour in separate shallow bowls. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the bread crumbs and mix to combine.

2. Slice the eggplants into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Dip the eggplant rounds in the flour, then the eggs (letting any excess drip off), and finally in the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to help them adhere; transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Roast until the eggplant is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

3. In the meanwhile, in a big bowl, combine the cottage cheese, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup Romano, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Fold in the basil and parsley.

4. Spread 1/2 cup marinara on the bottom of a baking dish. Top with a layer of eggplant (8 to 12 slices) and 1/2 cup marinara, and dollop with a third of the ricotta mixture (about 1 1/2 cups). Repeat eggplant, marinara, and ricotta layers twice. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup marinara. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Romano.

5. Cover the dish tightly with an oiled piece of foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beef carpaccio

8 -10 ounces beef tenderloin
4 cups arugula or 4 cups mixed greens
your favorite vinaigrette (amount to taste)
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
shaved parmesan cheese


1.Wrap the tenderloin in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 2 hours.
2.After 2 hours, unwrap the tenderloin and thinly slice the beef into  1/8 to 1/4-inch pieces.
3.Lay out sheets of plastic wrap and place each slice onto the plastic. Top with another piece of plastic and gently pound the meat with a meat mallet until paper thin.
4.Repeat until all of the meat is sliced and pounded.
5.Divide the meat evenly among 4 chilled plates.
6. Serve with greens tossed with vinaigrette, salt, pepper and/or Parmesan.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Baba Ghanoush

Highly seasoned dip of Middle East, although famous all over world. The finished dish ideally should have the smoky flavor, coming from fire-roasting of eggplant. Leaving on  a little of the blackened skin will fulfill this purpose.

The most important part of this dish is roasting the eggplant. You can do this on a gas stove Although it makes a mess, but the flavor can't be beat. Other options are on a grill, under a broiler, or in a hot oven. The oven is least preferable because it can't give the eggplant the desired slightly charred flavor.


3 lb. eggplant
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste)
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt


1. Roast the eggplant, set each eggplant directly on the flame, grill, or grate.

2. For oven preheat oven at 400 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Oil eggplant and prick it too. The eggplant will start to crack and give off juices; it should become an ashy grayblack. 3. Turn it as it cooks, but be careful-as it softens under heat, it becomes difficult to move without splitting. When the eggplant is charred gray and very tender all the way through, transfer it to a plate to cool.

3. Slice off the top of the cooled eggplant, and then cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully remove all the pulp, but avoid any bits of blackened skin. With a fork, stir the eggplant to break up large pieces and add the rest of the ingredients. Taste as you mix and adjust seasoning. Chill before serving.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Secrets of Healthy Living

More than ever before, people are now striving to live longer and stay healthier. The secrets of healthy living are hidden gems, which are presented in the following content. If you are desirous to stay healthier, be advised to make sure that the food you eat is healthy. It's important to combine food types to create a well balanced diet. As we learn to understand how the food that we eat interacts in our body, the better we can decide, as on what to keep in our daily diet to stay healthier.
The food we take can be broadly classified as:
Alkaline and Acidic
Acidic environment favors development of harmful bacteria, while the alkaline environment potentiates the development of good ones. Food that we typically take is 70% acidic and 30% alkaline, which in fact should be opposite for a healthy living. As the human body is Alkaline in nature so; it has to maintain slightly alkaline plasma. The insufficient intake of alkaline food compels body to restore balance by extracting calcium from bones and other places like teeth. Furthermore, the deficiency of Vitamin D due to lack of sunlight and animal food are the main reasons for continual increase in Dental diseases, fragile bones and Arthritis.
Hence, the nutritious food includes 70%alkaline and 30% acidic food. A few points should also be taken care of for a healthy living:
-        The intake of Fats and oils should not exceed 10-15 ml per day (that is; 3 tea spoons) 
-        Increased intake of organic food, whilst the carbohydrate based foods should be minimized as much as possible
-        Avoid sugar and salt
-        Drink lots of water
-        Use mouthwash at night to avoid dental problems
Vegetables and Fruits
These should be the major portion of the food you eat each day. These are very rich in nutrients and would give your body the essential minerals and vitamins it requires. It doesn't make any difference if they are fresh or frozen. The only fact that they are eaten is more than enough. Eating salad regularly is one of the best ways to consume these. An olive oil dressing mixed with lemon and some pepper can make them taste even better. For instance, following should be eaten;
- Green leafy vegetables: for example spinach, cabbage & cauliflower
- Red color vegetables: for example tomato, carrots, beetroot and reddish
- Seasonal Fruits: including bananas, berries, mango, apple, grapes, oranges and so on
Dieticians recommend that cereals should make up one third of your daily food intake. Generally, people have misconceptions about this group. Therefore, they consciously avoid eating rice or starchy foods with a mindset that these will increase their waist line. However, this is poor set of information that is prevalent and should be corrected.
Actually cereals contain essential carbohydrates that work wonders. The only thing you have to keep an eye on is the quantity. The bread that people normally think increases weight actually gives them wholesome nutrients required by the body. However, the extra spoon of jam or butter can produce negative effects. Controlling the amount of whatever one takes is another step towards a healthy diet.
The noteworthy examples of cereals good for health include;
- Rice & breakfast cereals
- Whole meal multigrain fresh bread and noodles
- Sweet potatoes, beans and lentils
Dairy products
These are very important in the daily diet. They do contain lots of fats, but still hold great importance. In this regard, the low fat versions of foods like skimmed milk, reduced fat cheese and low fat yoghurt are healthier choices.
Anyone can do well if consume these items in moderation. Despite the fact that these foods are almost everyone's favorite, these must be avoided to ensure healthy living. This doesn't mean to completely give up eating them forever; in fact simply decrease the frequency of intake from everyday to once in two a week period or month. Some common examples of these foodies are;
- Fried food
- Chocolates & candies
- Cakes and cookies
- Creams, drinks and soda pop etc.
Meat is undoubtedly rich in proteins and vital for our body. They should be eaten as a part of diet but in moderation. The good part of it is that you can remove the fat in the meat quite easily. One should take fish at least twice a week and be assured that you eat different kind of fish every time. Some of the examples of healthy meat include; White meat, in which chicken without skin should be used.

Along with a healthy diet, exercise is also an essential part of a healthy living. It is said that one-third of body toxins are removed by sweating only, which would otherwise will have heavy burden on Liver and Kidney.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Grilled Stuffed Pork chops with cranberries, goat cheese and walnuts

This is a high end restaurant quality food made just within the time you would start the car and go to the nearest food joint :)


4 Boneless pork chops
Salt and black pepper
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp fennel seeds, chopped


1. Preheat grill over medium heat
2. Use a sharp parking knife to cut a pocket in the side of each chop. Cut it deeper. Stretch out the pocket.
3. Season the chop all over with salt and pepper.
4. Combine the stuffing of cranberries, goat cheese, walnut and fennel seeds.
5. Stuff the mixture in the pork until full and  secure them with toothpick.
6. Grill them for 15 min each side closed.

Monday, June 24, 2013

8 ways to better your grilling

1. You need to cook your food perfectly every time:  Everything else is just frosting over the cake. If the steaks are not properly cooked, they are not worth eating.  Although everyone has their own liking but generally for burgers and steak it should be medium - rare, a little beyond medium for pork and fishes and chicken until the pink color disappears.  Flip Burgers Once and Only Once. Cook 2 minutes per side for rare, 3 for medium-rare, 4 for medium, and 5 for well-done. Keep grill at a steady heat.

2. Apply salt strategically: One way is to cure the meat by seasoning salt overnight. Sat will slowly extract water from meat thereby concentrating its flavors. The other way is to treat the meat, especially pork and poultry with brine water. This imparts moisture and flavor to the meat. Although it is used by cold cut manufacturers and high end restaurants, you must give it a try. I bet you will be highly satisfied. (Will give the basic brine recipe in the next post).

3.  Have hotter and cooler side of the grill:  Build your charcoal fire and once the charcoal is burned, its ready for grilling. Then move all the charcoal to one side of the grill and just very few on other side. This way we can grill big meat on slow side of the grill covered. Small meat can go on the higher heat side.

4. Smoke effect: You can give the smoke effect by adding small wood-chip tray to the grill setup. Charcoal grill can take wood chips directly but electric grill can have small wood-chip box or a packet.

5. Spices give life to grilling: Have your own blend of spices to add flavor to the meat. as much possible make spice blend from scratch and not use the store bought ones, which are no match to home made ones. It can be slat, pepper, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, crushed fennel, coriander seeds, etc are some examples.

6. Home made sauces are the best: Make sweet sauce with ketchup,honey, brown sugar. Salty by soy sauce, peanut butter. sour with vinegar, lemon, orange juice and spicy with chili sauce, Dijon mustard, etc. Thick sauce is good for small pieces of meat but thin sauce can be coated to big meat pieces that are slow cooking.

7. Mopping is essential: Basting over open flame with liquid constantly is important to tenderize the meat. It can be any liquid you can imagine like beer, booze, oil, juice, etc.  I generally use Worcestershire sauce for beef, vinegar for pork and orange juice for chicken.

8. Don't waste the heat: Instead of wasting the big heating surface with just a few pork chops or sirloin, try to add skewers of mixed vegetables, fruits (grilled) for desserts, etc. It will help us save money and time too.