Dark Chocolate and Nuts Pie

Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous new year !!


A new year treat for my blog and everyone out there . It has been such a long time, since my last post, back in January last year. Had been very busy with studies, internships and then basking in the sweet memories of my family visits. That meant there was lot of cooking and cherishing every morsel of what my mom cooked while she was visiting us. I’ve seen them almost after six years and I did not want to miss any moment that was spent with them, lot of travelling included. 
A simple, quick and easy recipe that will be loved by one and all. The soft crust made with graham crackers and the chewy filling is a sweet treat to the eyes, taste buds and the heart. Let the new year bring lot of fun, joy, happiness and make all the dreams come true !!


1 cup graham crackers (powdered)
7 tsp butter
6 tsp oil
1/4 cup sugar

1 & 1/2 cup Nuts ( almonds, pecans, cashews)
1 cup (coarsely ground ) dark chocolate chips
4 tsp unsalted butter
4 tsp corn flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

Pre-heat oven at 350 F

1. For crust, combine all the ingredients in for the crust. Start by beating the butter and then add all the ingredients and mix for a minute. Take an 8 inch pie pan, and press the mixture evenly at the bottom and to the sides of the pan. Keep aside.

1. Melt the chocolate. ( microwaved for 2 and 1/2 minutes)
2. Melt the butter (microwaved for 1/2 minute). Transfer this melted butter to the chocolate bowl.
3. Add the coarsely ground nuts and sugar and mix. Add corn flour and mix again.
4. Slightly beat eggs and add to the mixture. This will help in softening the dry mixture. Add vanilla essence.
5. Pour this mixture into the pie pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350 F.
6. After 20 minutes, turn off the oven. Let the pie sit in the oven for another 10 – 15  minutes. Then remove and let it cool.
7. Serve !!!

Preparation Time: 20 – 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes


Vangyache Bharit / Baigan Bharta 1 – North Karnataka Recipe

Recipe: Roasted eggplants combined with fresh veggies

Yes, I am back with the eggplant recipe ! It is very rare, that I skip the brinjal/eggplant from my cooking for more than two weeks. And if I do, there is always a feeling of missing something in my diet. But some of you might find, my blog doesn’t reflect these many recipes, but eventually will get there.
Baigan Bharta or Vangyache bharit is very common dish prepared across India, and so do many cuisines across the Mediterranean(famous Baba Ganoush  recipe. I specifically titled the post as a North Karnataka recipe, because of the slight difference in its preparation from few other ways this dish is prepared. January is the month, in India where the markets are flooded with fresh veggies, especially like fresh peas, chikpeas and many different varieties of flat beans. Specially made during Sankranti, this recipe is also a quick one to be made if you boil the eggplants instead of roasting it.

6 –7 small baby eggplants
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup red onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh veggies (chikpeas, peas, carrots)
1/2 tsp. chili powder or 1 green chili (roasted)
pinch of cumin powder (optional)
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

Preparation Method:
1. Apply oil to the eggplants and roast them in the oven for 30 –45 minutes (400 F or toast setting). Meanwhile rinse all the veggies and keep aside
2. Once roasted, remove just the burnt/blackend skin. (I mash the whole eggplant without scooping just the inside, better way to incorporate the fiber)
3. Mash these eggplants in a bowl.
4. Add the chopped veggies, and other ingredients and mix.
5. Serve with jowar bhakri/roti/ or a tortilla, with some yogurt/curd on the side.
Note: If using green chili, slightly roast it in some oil and mash it along with the eggplants.
The roasting time may vary depending on the size of the eggplant and the heating mode (fire or regular oven)


Goan Fish Curry

DSC02035Finally, my most favorite curry since my childhood gets its place on the blog. I am not sure why, it has taken such a long time to post this recipe on my blog, probably we are more tempted to finish the curry rather than take pictures or write about it Smile.  Anything coconut is dear to me, so is this rich coconut creamy curry with a distinct flavor of tirphal (shown in the picture below) that lends an authentic Konkan/Goan flavor to the dish  with mild tangy flavor from the kokum (mangosteen peels). A little tirphal spice should be used in the curry, either ground or coarsely crushed to add the flavor. For this curry, I've used Tilapia fish fillets. However King Fish (Surmai) or Mackeral (bangda) are better options too.Unlike most other Indian curries, the goan fish curry doesn't need tempering. All you’ve got to do is, grind the ingredients (except fish, kokum) into a fine paste, transfer it to a vessel, bring it to boil and add the fish pieces and let it cook. Served with plain rice, the curry gets better in taste the next day, try it !!

3 fish filets or 6 –7 pieces
6 –7 kokum (mangosteen peels)
salt to taste
Grind to fine paste
1 cup coconut, freshly grated
1/3 cup onions, chopped
4 –5 big garlic cloves
1/2 in ginger
6 –8 byadgi/kashmiri red chilies
1/2 tsp turmeric
6 – 7 peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhania)
2 nos tirphal/tephal

Preparation Method;
1. Clean the fish.. Apply some salt, turmeric and chili powder and keep aside.
2. Combine all the ingredients (except kokum & fish) and grind to a fine paste.
3. Transfer this paste into a deep vessel. Add salt, kokum, water and bring to boil.
4. Once the masala is boiling, add the fish pieces and let it cook for couple of minutes more.
5. Once done, remove from heat. Serve with plain rice and kokum kadi (a drink made of kokum) on the side.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 - 4



Sattvic Tuesdays: Methi Dal / Lentils with fresh fenugreek leaves

Recipe: Tempered lentils cooked with tomato and garnished with methi/fenugreek leaves.

DSC01936      All across, I bet there will be more than 1000 ways of how to prepare a daal/lentil soup or curry, each one different with lentils, spices, tempering ingredients and all other additional ingredients that can go into preparing it. A little math, permutation and combination with the number of ingredients and you will get a large number…and that many ways one can make the curry !!! One of my friends asked if I use fresh methi leaves in curry, to which I nodded in a yes, but the most often and preferred way of including fenugreek leaves in our cooking is preparing it as a bhaji, a dry curry.
     This being sattvic recipe, meaning no onions, garlic and of course no non-veg ingredients in it, a perfect for any Hindu or Jain religious occasions and is vegan recipe too. I’ve combined two lentils, mung daal and masoor daal for the recipe. Once done garnish with some freshly chopped methi/fenugreek leaves.  So here’s the recipe for you’ll to try…

1/2 cup red lentils (masoor daal)
1/2 cup yellow lentil (mung daal)
2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies, chopped
pinch of asafetida
pinch of turmeric
1/2 tomato, finely chopped
salt to taste
1 cup methi/fenugreek leaves, chopped

1. Wash the lentil and soak them in water for few minutes.
2. Heat oil in a deep vessel. Add mustard seeds, as they splutter add cumin seeds and green chilies. Add asafetida.
3. Immediately add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric and water as required. Close the lid and let it cook.
4. About 15 –20 minutes on medium flame, the curry will be cooked.
5. Add the chopped methi/fenugreek leaves and close the lid. Keep for another 2 –3 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and serve as a soup or with plain rice or roti.

Preparation Time: 25 – 30 mins

Note: One can also separately cook the lentils and then temper it.
Variation: Use curry leaves for tempering if not using fenugreek leaves in the dish.
                      You can also cook the leaves along with the lentils; or use kasoori methi for garnish.


Amaranth Leaves / Rajgira Bhaji

     DSC01935It’s been sometime now with my last post, last month, not to mention how much of recipes I've missed posting as well as visiting. I believe everyone is enjoying the holiday season with lots of sweets, cake and other baked goods. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season !!
     Today’s post is a simple sautéed amaranth leaves, also known as rajgira or lal/tambdi bhaji in marathi, also named as Chinese spinach or Thai spinach in Korean stores that I frequent here for vegetables. I’ve posted the picture here, so you will know the regional names for the same. And for those who’ve never tasted this leafy vegetable, it’s a must try. I feel sad and sorry for whoever classified this healthy leafy vegetable as a weed..phew…. But anyways, these leaves are eaten in most parts of the world. Important to note is that the word Amaranth comes from Greek word, Amaranthos, which means ‘ that which never dies’. The Greek word root itself has a Sanskrit word ’Amar’, which means ‘forever’.
     I just pluck the leaves and the tender stems and do not chop. This, I believe gives a better taste to the dish than when you chop it. Here’s a simple and easy breezy side dish that goes well with chapati (tortilla)/bhakri. 

1 bunch of amaranth leaves (1  1/2 lb), rinsed
5 –6 big garlic cloves, minced
3 small green chilies, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
3 tbsp. oil
salt to taste
pinch of turmeric
fresh coconut for garnish (if required)

1. Pluck the leaves and break the tender stems in 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Rinse the vegetable.
3. Heat oil in a vessel or pan. Add the chopped garlic and saute till it turns slightly brown.
4. Add green chilies and onions and saute till onions turn translucent.
5. Add the vegetable, salt and turmeric. Close the lid and let it cook for 8 – 10 mins.
6. Remove from heat and garnish if necessary. Serve !

Note: Add very little salt, as the vegetable wilts, the volume decreases once cooked.
Other variation is to use a little daal (2 – 3 tbsp moong/masoor)while cooking.
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