Herbed Turkey Patties

Herbed turkey patties2

Isn’t it wonderful to have friends that readily share their recipes with you? Hannah, is one such friend, and we have a wonderful time cooking together and sharing recipes. Thank you, Hannah, for teaching me how to make these wonderful herbed turkey patties. It was great picking fresh herbs from your garden and using them in the recipe. I was so inspired by your garden, that I’ve started my own little herb garden on my deck.

I’ve modified Hannah’s recipe by changing the shape and served them for breakfast. Its a glorious fusion of herbs and spices – shallots, sage, flat leaf celery, cilantro, thyme, oregano, mint, and chilli flakes. The oyster mushroom sauce added another dimension to the complex flavor in these herbed patties. My family enjoyed every bite.

I made them for breakfast, but you can make them into meatballs as well and serve them for lunch or dinner with spaghetti and marinara sauce. They also serve as great little appetizers. Stick a toothpick into them and serve them with a dipping sauce of your choice. I even enjoyed them as a snack at tea time with sriracha on the side. You can use all the herbs or only those that you prefer. Have fun making this recipe your own.

Herbed Turkey Patties
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes: 15

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb minced turkey
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1 tablespoons finely minced sage leaves
1 tablespoon finely minced flat leaf celery
1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons finely minced thyme
1 teaspoon finely minced oregano leaves
1 teaspoon finely minced mint leaves
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons oyster mushroom sauce
1 teaspoon salt, (depending on your preference)

In a small bowl, add the minced turkey, shallots, sage, celery leaf, cilantro, thyme, oregano, mint, chilli flakes, oyster mushroom sauce and salt. Mix it well. Wet the palm of your hands and make small lime sized turkey balls and put them on a plate.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the turkey balls, as is, or flatten them to about two-inch patties. Put about five at a time in the pan. Keep the heat on medium and fry the patties for two minutes per side or until the patties cook and turn light brown. Remove on to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with the rest of the minced turkey mix. If the pan collects a lot of grime, wash and dry it before you fry the final batch of patties. These taste amazing, if you like fresh herbs.

Red Kidney Bean Curry – Rajma Curry

Red Kidney Bean Curry3

Mea culpa! On Sunday, my trigger happy finger clicked the Publish button by mistake and my subscribers received a unintentional sneak preview of the pictures for Tuesday’s blog post. I hope it built up the anticipation for today’s recipe!

Red kidney bean curry, which is called rajma in Hindi, is a traditional dish prepared in almost every home in India. It is served with rice or whole wheat bread. Red kidney beans are naturally gluten free, nutritious, and well suited for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet. It is a great source of protein and good for lowering cholesterol because of its fiber content.

This recipe is ideal for a quick weeknight meal since you’ll be using canned kidney beans and spices that are already on your kitchen shelves. You can also make this dish with dried red kidney beans, but you’ll need to soak the beans overnight and then cook them in a pressure cooker the next day.

Please note that you can adjust the heat level of any recipe that I share with you, by lowering or raising the amount of green chillies, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, garam masala powder, or red chilli powder. The recipe below has a higher heat level, so you may wish to adjust the level to suit your family.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you that take the time to comment and “like” my blog. You inspire me to learn, teach, and share.

Red Kidney Bean Curry
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

1lb 13 oz (822 grams) red kidney beans
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bay leaf, (tej patta)
2 black cardamoms
1-inch piece cinnamon
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
2 cups diced tomatoes
3 green chillies, (slit down the center – adjust depending on heat and your preference)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder, (depending on heat and your preference)
1 teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes, (depending on heat and your preference)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 teaspoons garam masala, (depending on your preference)
3 teaspoons kasori methi, (crushed in your palm)
1 cup warm water
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
3-4 mint leaves, (torn into bits)

Heat a heavy bottomed pot on medium-high heat. Add oil and when it shimmers add the bay leaf, black cardamoms, and cinnamon. After 30 seconds add the chopped onion and salt. Fry until the onion turns light brown. Lower the heat to medium and add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry until the raw smell of ginger-garlic disappears, then add the tomatoes and green chillies. Cook until you see the oil separate from the tomato-onion mixture.

Add cumin seeds, turmeric powder, chilli powder, crushed red chilli flakes, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and kasori methi. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the canned red kidney beans along with the liquid in the can and one cup of warm water. Turn the heat to high and let the beans come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, and let the beans simmer for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and mint. Serve with plain steamed rice or rotis.

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade2

Strawberry lemonade is my all-time favorite drink. My recipe is made with ripe strawberries and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It’s a refreshing drink that both adults and children will love. It also adds so much color and elegance to a breakfast or brunch table. Treat your mom to this delicious drink this coming Mother’s Day!

Strawberry Lemonade
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4-6

1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups hulled and roughly chopped fresh strawberries
2 cups cold water
4-6 whole strawberries, garnish
Mint leaves, garnish

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil, over medium-high heat. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and let it simmer. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool completely.

In a blender, puree the strawberries along with two cups of cold water. If you don’t like the seeds, then strain the strawberry puree through a fine sieve. Pour into a pitcher. Add lemon juice and sugar syrup. Stir and refrigerate until well chilled. Pour into glasses filled with ice.

For the strawberry garnish:
Hull a firm, ripe strawberry. With the stem side down on a cutting board, cut the strawberry in half, but not completely. Carefully spread the slices apart so it sits on the edge of a glass. Add a small sprig of mint on top.


Raisin, Apricot and Cranberry Scones

Raisin, Apricot and Cranberry Scones10

Start your Sunday morning with these freshly baked raisin, apricot, and cranberry scones. I made them for my family this past Sunday and they really enjoyed them. We topped them with cream and homemade strawberry jam. My favorite thing about making scones is that there is such a wide variety to choose from. You can make them with dried fruit or fresh fruit. You can make them sweet, nutty, or savory. In the picture above, you can see both raisin, apricot and cranberry scones on the bottom and chocolate chips scones on top. British scones are lightly sweetened so when I first made them, I added very little sugar. I’ve since changed my recipe and added two tablespoons of sugar to please my children. You can adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste buds.

Here are some tips to making light and airy scones. Make sure that your butter is very cold but not frozen. Sift the dry ingredients to aerate the flour. Work quickly and lightly when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Don’t over handle the dough as this will make your scones tough. Use very little flour to roll and shape your dough. Cut your scones with a sharp knife or cutter. Place them close together on the tray as this will help to keep their edges straight. Bake them on the top rack of your oven. Keep these tips in mind when you make scones and I promise your scones will be perfect.

Raisin, Apricot and Cranberry Scones
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Makes: 18 scones

3 cups all-purpose flour, (or use cake flour)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, (0-2 tablespoons, depending on your taste and preference)
10 tablespoons cold butter, (diced into small cubes)
1 cup dried fruits, (raisins, diced apricot, cranberries)
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk + 2 tablespoons, (reserve 2 tablespoons to brush tops)
Turbinado sugar for tops

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, a fork and a knife, or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle sugar over the flour, add the dried fruits and toss to combine.

Shake the carton of buttermilk before you measure. Pour one cup buttermilk into a separate small bowl. Add the eggs and whisk until combined.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly add the egg and buttermilk mixture. Gently fold the wet and dry ingredients, using a flat bladed knife, until a dough forms. The mixture simply needs to be pulled together until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be slightly wet, light, and pliable.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Flour your hands and using a very light touch, gently pat into shape. About three to four pats only. Shape the dough into an 8 x 8 inch square that is about half inch in height. Use a ruler or a large knife to straighten the edges. Cut into thirds. You will have nine squares. Then cut each square diagonally to make two triangles.

Place the scones close together on the parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with the reserved two tablespoons of buttermilk and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the tops turn light golden in color. Scones are best served warm and fresh, with jam and cream or creme fraiche.

More tips:
– For lighter scones use cake flour, which is soft flour that has less gluten protein. You can make your own cake flour. For every one cup of all purpose flour, take out two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons of cornflour. Sift using a sieve.

– For chocolate chip scones, you can replace the dried fruit with one cup of chocolate chips.
Easter Brunch 3

Carving a Strawberry Rose

Strawberry Rose3

I am a strawberry lover and I’m not just talking about eating the fruit. I love its vibrant color and I think it is one of the most beautiful fruits. I like them so much that I had a whole bunch of strawberry kitchen gear – strawberry dinner set, strawberry canister set, strawberry napkin rings, potholders, and the list goes on! I haven’t let go of my love for “anything strawberry” completely, because they are still sitting on my garage shelves!

A recent study called strawberries “brain berries” and confirmed that older adults who ate strawberries on a regular basis experienced improved brain function and memory. Needless to say, I’ve been eating my daily quota. One cup of fresh strawberries provides about 140 percent of our daily vitamin C needs. Strawberries are high in nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber and they are low on calories.

Many of you asked me how I made the strawberry rose that was on my Valentine’s Day blog, so my children helped me make this short video to show you how it’s done. Thank you, Dharti and Sanjay. It was fun working on this blog post with you.

Fish Molee – Fish Cooked in Mildly Spiced Coconut Milk

Fish Molee3

Fish Molee, also called Meen Molee in Malayalam, can be found on the menu at almost all wedding receptions and family celebrations in Kerala. It is a fresh fish curry, mildly spiced, and cooked in a coconut milk gravy. Definitely, one of my all-time favorite fish dishes. The recipe is simple and straightforward, with no exotic spices.

My variation of Fish Molee will give you a true taste of Kerala. I use fresh coconut milk and coconut oil, which brings out the authentic taste of this dish. But, if you have to use canned coconut milk, buy the best quality. Don’t shake the can before you open it. Use the thick top layer formed as the first extraction and the dilute coconut milk in the bottom of the can as the second extraction. Whisk both, the top layer and the bottom layer, with three-quarter cups of water for this recipe. I find that canned coconut milk from Thailand works well for my recipes. I’ve use Tilapia fish for this recipe, but you can also use other boneless, skinless fish.

Fish Molee is one of the most flavorful Kerala delicacies. Eat it with steamed rice, appams or rotis and you’ll understand why Kerala is called “God’s own country!”

Fish Molee
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4

For the Marinade
3 Tilapia fish fillets, each cut into 3 pieces
3 teaspoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon chilli powder

For the Gravy
3 tablespoons coconut oil to fry fish + 3 tablespoons coconut oil for the curry
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2 cups thinly sliced red onion or shallots
5 green chillies, slit down the center, (adjust depending on heat and your preference)
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup first extract (thick) coconut milk
1 cup second extract (thin) coconut milk
2 Roma tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Rinse the fish pieces thoroughly, drain off excess water, pat the pieces with a paper towel, and add the lime juice, turmeric, chili, and salt. Marinate for 20 minutes. Heat three tablespoons coconut oil and shallow fry fish on both sides until lightly brown. The fish does not need to be cooked as it will cook in the gravy. Remove and set aside.

Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add three tablespoons of coconut oil. When the oil shimmers, add mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and onion. Sauté for two minutes and then add the green chillies, ginger, and garlic. Fry all the ingredients until the onion turns translucent. Next, add the coriander, chilli, and turmeric powder. Turn the heat to medium and pour in the thin extract of coconut milk. Add lightly fried fish pieces and salt. Bring to boil. Cook for seven minutes or until the fish is cooked. If you use fish other than Tilapia fillets, it may take a few minutes longer to cook.

Next, add the thick second extract of coconut milk, tomatoes, and freshly ground pepper. Turn the heat to low and let the curry simmer for a minute. Do not bring the curry to boil once the thick extract of coconut milk has been added, because it may curdle. Turn off the heat. Let the Fish Molee rest for 15 minutes before you serve it with steaming hot rice, appams or rotis.

Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro Pesto1

This recipe is a delightful version of the classic basil pesto, especially for people like me that are not big fans of basil.

Cilantro pesto can be used in several ways. Use it as a condiment on your sandwich and bruschetta or as dressing on pasta salad. Add lots of shredded cheese to it and use it as a filling in puffs. A tablespoon added to hummus or egg salad creates an extra layer of flavor. Garnish your tomato soup with cilantro pesto to take it to the next level. These are just a few ideas. I am sure you can come up with many more of your own. Until next week, have fun cooking.

Cilantro Pesto
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes
Makes: About 1 cup

½ cup slivered almonds
2 cups cilantro, roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 serrano chilli, chopped and seeded, optional
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil

Place a small pan over medium heat. Add the almonds and roast them until they turn golden and fragrant. Remove and cool.

In the bowl of your food processor add the cooled almonds and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Add cilantro, shallot, serrano, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, and lemon juice. Pulse until coarsely ground. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle olive oil. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to use.

Pistachio, Cranberry and Cardamom Biscotti

Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti3

The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over. It is time to sit by the fire, relax, eat biscotti, and drink chai! Originally made in Italy, biscotti is a small, crisp, rectangular, twice-baked cookie, usually containing nuts. I’ve put a twist on the recipe by using the aromatic powder of green cardamom seeds. A truly delightful blend of ingredients makes these cookies one of my favorites.

Here’s wishing you peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in 2014!

Pistachio, Cranberry and Cardamom Biscotti
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Makes: 24 biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
¾ cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use silpat. Sift flour, baking powder, and cardamom powder into a medium bowl. Using a stand mixer, beat sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Add spoonfuls of flour and beat until just blended. Stir in the chopped pistachios and cranberries.

Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden. About 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on a cutting board and using a bread knife, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Arrange the biscotti, cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti again until they are light brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

If you like, you can dip the biscotti into melted chocolate chips. Shake off the excess chocolate and place them on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm. It takes around 30 minutes.

Misal Pav


I grew up in Pune, a city close to Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra. Many of the dishes my mom prepared were influenced by our neighbors and friends. Needless to say, Maharashtrian cuisine is one of my indulgences.

Recently I was invited to a birthday lunch and misal was served as an appetizer. The sight, smell and taste of my days in Pune came flooding back. I shamelessly ate the appetizer as my main course, to the amusement of all the other guests. It made my day and I decided to do a blog post for others that might miss misal as much as I did.

I must confess that my misal recipe is unconventional. I know people from Maharashtra have their own authentic recipes, but I had to make do with whatever ingredients I had available. I used sprouted green gram (moong beans) because I did not have moth beans (matki). You can also make misal using a combination of legumes like sprouted green gram, moth beans, black eyed peas, and dried white peas. I made this misal recipe for a party of 15 people and everyone enjoyed it. The recipe looks long with the number of ingredients, but it’s not that difficult to make.

Misal Pav
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 15

For the Usal:
10 cups sprouted green gram, (moong beans) or sprouted moth beans, (matki)
1 cup water
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch asafoetida
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 sprig curry leaves
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons Goda masala or Kanda-Lasoon masala
1 cup boiled and cubed potato, (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Cook the sprouted green gram in a pressure cooker with one cup of water. I cooked it without the weight for five minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat, until it shimmers. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add asafoetida, turmeric, and curry leaves. Fry for five seconds and then add the chopped onion and cook until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until the onion turns light brown. Garlic should not turn brown. Add Goda masala and sauté for a minute longer. Add the sprouts, potato, salt and any water left from pressure cooking the sprouts. Mix well and cook for five minutes or until the water evaporates. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

For the Kat/Rassa (gravy):
2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1 tablespoon garlic slices
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
1 cup diced tomatoes
4 tablespoons oil
2 packets Rasoi Magic Misal Rassa
8 cups water
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder

In a medium size non-stick frying pan, add one teaspoon of oil. Place over medium heat. When the oil is hot add sliced onion and roast until they turn light brown. Remove and then add garlic. Roast the garlic slices until they start turning light brown. Remove and add the desiccated coconut. Roast until light brown. Remove, cool, and with the help of very little water grind onion, garlic and coconut in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

Mix the two packets of Rasoi Magic Misal Rassa with two cups of water and set aside.

In a large pot heat three tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the ground onion, garlic and coconut paste. Fry until it turns light brown. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook until the oil separates and then add salt, the Rasoi Magic Misal Rassa mixture, and eight cups of water. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low and let it simmer for ten minutes.

To season the kat, take a small non-stick pan and add the rest of the oil. Place over low heat. When the oil gets warm turn off the stove and add one teaspoon of Kashmiri chilli powder. Pour this over the kat. It will float over the kat and give it a beautiful red color.

To put it all together and serve:
1 packet hot mix, (farsan, chivda)
1 packet fine sev
20 pavs, (or slices of bread or soft rolls)
2 cups boiled and cubed potatoes
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped green chillies, (optional)
1 cup lemon wedges

To serve – put 2 tablespoons of usal in a small bowl, add a few cubed potatoes, two tablespoons of the hot mix, stir the kat, and pour two-three tablespoon over it. Then sprinkle sev, onion, tomatoes, cilantro and green chillies. Serve a lemon wedge and pav on the side. You could also cut the pav in half, butter and toast them on a griddle before serving. Misal a complete light meal any time of the day, a great tea time snack, and a showstopper at a party!

– The quantity given for this recipe serves 15-20 people.
– Assemble the misal just before serving.
– Goda masala is available at Indian grocery stores. If you cannot get this masala you can use Kanda-Lasoon masala.
– Kat can be made by following the directions on the misal rassa packet.
– To sprout green gram, I soaked it in water for six hours. Drained it in a colander and put it in the oven with the light on overnight. I had beautiful sprouts the next morning.
– The picture at the bottom of the page was taken by a friend at the party.


Egg Curry – Kerala Mutta Curry

Egg Curry4

Egg curry or mutta curry, as we call this dish in Malayalam, is a faithful standby when unexpected guests arrive at lunch time or when the vegetable bin is empty in the refrigerator. Every Indian family has their own style of making egg curry. The egg curry recipe that I am sharing with you today, is from Kerala. Coconut milk, curry leaves, vinegar, and garam masala gives this dish its creamy, spicy, and aromatic fragrance and flavor. The versatile egg curry can be eaten with rice, chapatis, appams or string hoppers. It’s a good dish to have in your recipe collection.


Egg Curry – Kerala Mutta Curry
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

6 hard boiled eggs
4 whole dry red chillies, (depending on heat and your preference)
3 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon whole black pepper
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 one-inch piece cinnamon
2 green cardamom, seeds only
2 cloves
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
3 tablespoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1 cup finely diced shallots
2 green chillies, slit in half (optional)
1 teaspoon finely diced ginger
1 teaspoon finely diced garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 (13.66 fl oz) can coconut milk, unsweetened
1 cup water
3 medium potatoes, quartered
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A few curry leaves to garnish

In a small non-stick frying pan, over low heat, roast the dry chillies, coriander seeds, whole black pepper, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. When it starts smelling fragrant, add the cumin seeds and roast for 10 seconds. Remove from the heat and cool the spices completely. Powder in a coffer grinder and set aside.

Place a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil and when it shimmers, add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the curry leaves, green chillies, onion, ginger, garlic, and turmeric. Cook until the onion turns translucent. Add the powdered spices and stir. Mix one cup of coconut milk with one cup of water and add it to the pan. Add the potatoes, vinegar, and salt. Cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat. When the potatoes are done, add the boiled eggs and the remaining coconut milk. Let the curry simmer for five more minutes. Remove from the heat, add freshly ground black pepper, and garnish with curry leaves.