Friday, April 30, 2010

Tweet me - vswamy

I have some friends following me on Twitter. Generally all food related. I get to read a lot of interesting other blogs and tweets as well. So, you may want to join me there too.

Sweet potato wedges baked with some mild herb

I love sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving day. At other times when I prepare them it is usually with a touch of herb and spice baked with drizzles of canola oil over them. You may add some brown sugar if you want the sweetness to stand out more than the herb and spice. The taste is absolutely heavenly.

Use this recipe for 2 medium-sized potatoes and adjust as you increase the quantity. Lightly boil the potatoes(5 minutes) so the initial toughness disappears. It will be easier to peel now. Peel and cut them into wedges. Drizzle some canola oil over the wedges. Mix them thoroughly next with about 2 tsps. of ground cumin and 1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper. Sparingly sprinkle some brown sugar(optional). Bake at 375 degrees until the wedges appear lightly toasted. The final outcome will be an irresistible mix of sweetened, spiced, aromatic, both crisp and soft sweet potato wedges.

Enjoy!! Haven't heard from any of my readers in a while. So, let me know how they turn out!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

In New Orleans, the Taste of a Comeback - Read this article on New York Times -

I was in New Orleans just a couple months ago. I was so sad to see that the charm and spirit of the city completely gone after Katrina. People are still suffering. The economy is terrible every where and worse in New Orleans. Looks like a dead city. I even visited the devastated place and, it is dead.

Well, this week is the Jazz fesitival week. I will be going to exhibit at a show next week and hope to see some change.

One thing for sure though, I do not like the food there. During my last trip, of the 4 days I had a good meal a couple times for an exhorbitant amount of money. I was wondering if they were trying to improve the economy through charging me some ridiculous prices!

Breakfast at Lowe's Ventana Canyon Resort

I had the most satisfying breakfast this morning. I dashed out of the room thinking breakfast time was past. Quite forgot that Tucson is 3 hours ahead of east coast time. Called the Canyon Cafe, this place had a limited spread of things. Not your everyday buffet, although the items were what you would see in a normal restaurant - Omelette, oats, fruits, pancakes, yogurt, and the meat varieties.

The ingredients tasted so good and fresh that I felt I was in a different part of the world, more like Europe. I even felt healthy after the breakfast.

The resort is beautiful and the weather perfect. Too bad in an hour I should be within the conference halls and will not get out the whole day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A sugary drink takes the exhaustion off rigorous exerices

Maybe I should try this. I had always thought that a protein shake before a rigorous exercise helps. It probably does. But what helps even more is a sugary drink such as a slushie to help you feel completely energized. This even sounds energizing. I'm going to try it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Can't wait for the exotic foods at Tucson

Food is a priority not only for me but for my entire family. We find any and all reason to celebrate with food. The same thought tags along even if I am travelling for business. And, I say this everytime prior to visiting a place. This visit of course is for a very important conference. I am going to be extremely busy. However, this is a resort for God's sake. So, the food better be good.

I checked out the Web site of the resort to see what types of restaurants they have. It appears I will be able to pick and choose any cuisine I want. I am in the planning stages now. So once I am there, during the break times I will head straight to my already researched restaurant. Of course, I will report on my experience right here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Okra with spice stuffing, a simple new recipe

This is a great side vegetable good with any Indian bread. Check it out right here.

Free Wi-Fi at Borders

Wow! This is a discovery I just made today. Looks like I have to spend about 4 hours at Borders.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

At Soul Source this morning

I got home pretty late last night. Luckily the flight was not delayed.

Had to rush this morning to help out at the Open House. It was a beautiful day and finally got to meet many of the other practitioners. Hillwood Farms is a peaceful and beautiful setting that completely resonates with the ideology of Soul Source.

Several of the visitors and previous workshop attendees told me they are looking forward to the next workshop on May 22nd. This is a Saturday, and the class is from 1-3 P.M. I will be focusing on southern Indian vegetarian cuisine. It will be a fun two hours with introduction to the spices and herbs, details on their health benefits, recipes to the three items I will be demonstrating, and sumptuous samples to taste. I even heard from some of the ladies that there are some men interested in attending this class. We'll see. Hope the turn out is as good as the previous one.

For details, contact me at

Friday, April 23, 2010

Food at the airport likely

The weather is horrible here. Hope to find some food on the way back. Not particularly looking forward to the sandwich at the airport. Maybe I will have a few minutes on the way to pick up something!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Too many posts on some days?

My old hosting company just dropped its customers saying they cannot support the blog program that they initially offered to us when we signed on for hosting our Web site. So, I moved to blogspot. There are no programs to automatically transfer the old blogs, so whenever I find time I have been manually transfering my old blogs to this site. In case my readers are wondering where all these old blogs are coming from, that's where they have been coming from, old to new.

A refreshing drink

Buttermilk is a great refreshing drink. What we find in stores is quite thick. So, adding a third of water in a cup and then mixing the buttermilk in can create a good balance of consistency. Buttermilk in stores do add a bit of salt as a preservative which cancels out some of the health benefits of drinking pure buttermilk. But, you can make buttermilk at home too. No preservative is needed.

Get right to it

It is great to dine with sophistication in a classy restaurant and make it an experience. Have you ever wondered though what it would be like to just devour the food? Most of the time I am not that hungry, but when I see the food I get ravenous. Why wait for everyone to start, then go through the courses patiently? Why not get right to it?

How much is too much?

I substitute tofu for cheese in some of my vegetarian recipes that call for cheese cubes. At one point, I was adding Tofu to almost every dish. Then I read that it could increase the estrogen level in the body. Too much estrogen is not good for women. So, I backed off. Phytoestrogens that are present in soy (tofu) are the ones that can have this effect. But I also read that phtoestrogens can actually prevent cholesterol and cancers. So, tofu in moderation is probably okay. I wish there were conclusive studies on this. How many (cups/ fl.oz) is okay to have every day and, when is it too much?

Hot chocolate over the stove

The best tasting hot chocolate is the old-fashioned way of just boiling milk (1%, 2%or whole) in a pot over the stove, adding dark or mild dark chocolate powder, mixing it in well, and drinking it right away. Do you know of a better tasting simple, pure hot chocolate?

It's probably me. About Mexican food in Mexico.

I am a vegetarian if you haven't noticed and a picky one at that. Last summer I spent about 10 ten days in some of the most exotic cities in Mexico. Many of us, me for sure didn't know that such places even existed. I was in Mexico City first, then a couple days in Guadalajara, 1 day in Puerto Vallarta, a couple days in Guanajuato and then back to Mexico City for the rest of the trip.

The Mexican food that I had was not good at all. Quite possibly because I do not eat meat. Food choices of course were pretty limited even among the meat dishes that other people were having. There is this lard I believe that they add to the beans that completely upset my system and remained upset during the entire trip. I went for other cuisine options all the time, whenever I saw them available. Chinese, Italian, Cuban were all great there.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Travel to Tucson, AZ

I will be soon travelling to Tucson for a conference. Some time back I spent a couple days in Arizona and thought it was beautiful. This is also a short trip there. Will be staying at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. Can't wait to taste vegetarian food there. Will post on that and give my opinion too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The creole spices with a chef’s artistic precision

This definitely deserves a compliment.

As fussy as vegetarians may be when we request something that is non-seafood, non-meat chefs welcome the request. I have done that twice already at the two restaurants in New Orleans. One is ‘The Adelaide’ at the Loews Hotel and the other ‘The Brew House’. One of the chefs, Orlando at ’The Adelaide’ walked out to meet me and said this is an opportunity to use their creativity since they generally get a chance to work only on the usual menus that the restaurants offer. The only problem I had was his artistic tomato prepartion left me really hungry and with a big bill. I then devoured a whole spinach salad as well.

So, here are two dishes that I had, the tomato was the lunch meal and the medley of vegetables was my dinner meal. The base on the tomato creation was rice, some okra, herbs and creole spices. The base of course as you see in the picture on the dinner one were vegetables with a mysterious touch of spices that seemed almost Indian but had a unique French Cajun taste. My visit to the French Quarters was another whole experience. Oh, I’m going to only stick to foods here if you are wondering. More to come…

The French Market in New Orleans, a sad sight

I was eager to see the market. But, when I got there, my heart sank. The sight was very disturbing. The place was quiet, I would say almost empty. There were very few vendors, their goods were nothing unique. I stopped at a stand to talk to one of the vendors. He nearly cried because business has been terrible in this economy and is only getting worse. He said he was waiting to see if he can make up the loss during the Mardi gra season. If not, that he had decided to pack up and just cut his losses.

Vegetarian choices in restaurants

Healthy eating and general diet awareness I believe, have increased among americans. Everywhere I turn around and every person I talk to, man or woman has become conscientiousness about the quality and quantity of food intake. Vegetarians are on the increase and people are starting to prefer non-meat dishes.

However, restaurants in general even the high end ones do not have more than one dish on the menu for vegetarians. This has made travel so difficult for a person like me. The choices are more or less a salad or an unexciting pasta dish. I feel like I am imposing on people when I am with a group and we need to make a restaurant choice. So, I just keep quiet and pick the one salad on the menu or at times I walk up to the chef and request something different other than plain boiled vegetables. I wonder how long it will take before restaurants change their thinking and start offering at least 2 dishes for their vegetarian clientele.

Idlis, a healthy steamed rice cake

This week’s recipe of the week is Idli. Idlis originated in southern India. But, it is more of a northern Indian favorite. It is healthy because of the two simple natural ingredients it contains and also because of the way it is made.

Rice and Lentils are soaked, ground, fermented for just a day and steam cooked the following day.

Does a tasteful display of a dish justify an expensive bill?

This is something I don’t understand. I have experienced it in big cities and in some small cities.

Recently I was at a restaurant in New Orleans for lunch. I requested the chef to make me something, anything for lunch without meat or fish. He said he absolutely can. Next thing I know I saw the waiter bring out a lunch platter and I literally had to search for the food. I should admit that the display on the plate was like a piece of art. There was just a dot in there of a tomato stuffed with some rice and spinach seasoned with a tasty creole seasong. I took two bites and the meal was done. There was nothing left in the plate. I was still hungry of course. I decided to just have a fruit or something a little later. But what bothered me most was the bill of $24 charged for this special meal. I was pretty upset at having to spend a ridiculous amount for nothing and worse yet, leave hungry to have more food.

I believe it was a rip off. The lesson I learned is when I request a vegetarian meal, I need to specify that I have a limited budget to begin with. I made that mistake at this Adelaide restaurant in New Orleans. Never again though.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pizza for dinner

I love pizza. Last week when I was in india I tasted Domino’s stuffed pizza. The first bite was okay but I did not care for the cheese at all. Sorry, it is no match for what we get in the U.S. Maybe a different type of cheese would have done it.

Sometimes it is the sauce, at other times it may be the crust or the cheese. Crust is quite important for a tasty pizza. The secret to a good crust is a round stone surface. You can find this at any kitchen show or specialty home sale such as Pampered Chef’s. It is the next best thing to a brick oven that is only available at restaurants. The crust cooks evenly and tastes great. Of course, given that the dough is made the right way. For cheese go with fresh brick mozarella cheese. If not even the regular mozarella cheese is good. Sauce? This is as important as the crust. Choose fresh non-tart variety of tomatoes. The rest is not that difficult by which I mean actually making the sauce. Just add some basic Italian spices and you’ll have the best home-made pizza.

Dinner at P.F. Chang's

Last night I had take out from P.F. Chang's. By the time I got off the plane and headed to my apartment it was about 8:00 P.M. Drove out of the rental car place and decided I will stop by a restaurant on the way home, at a place most appealing to me. Just before taking the exit to home drove right into P.F.

I had brown rice, some sort of mixed vegetables and a side of spinach. I was not that hungry to begin with but decided to eat anyways since come midnight I would be hungry. So, fixed myself a plate. The food and sauce were of course typical P.F. Chang's but the spinach was so muddy. Fresh spinach is always tastier than frozen, this was fresh but so fresh that I was grinding the sand in my mouth. That was enough for me. I did not have much of an appetite to finish the rest of my meal. I will have the left overs for lunch at work.

This is not the first time that I have tasted spinach with sand. Well, I have learned my lesson. Never again spinach at P.F. Chang's.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Can anybody be a restaurant critic?

Just because someone gets paid to critique a restaurant or write a column doesn’t necessarily mean that the words of the other non-paid majority don’t matter. Paid or unpaid, they are all feedback on actual experiences. How else can anybody recommend or un-recommend a restaurant? Food lovers have to contribute their share too!

What is healthy living?

What is healthy living?

Well, we can wish all we want, ask for the doctor’s advice, join the innumerable diet programs, blame it on genetics, kids, family, stress, etc. The answer to healthy living is simple. One may disagree, but I think so. I think the very first and important step is buying the right foods from the supermarket. Avoid any thing with added sugar. Avoid sodas, chips, processed foods, frozen diet foods. Diet foods have their calorie count on labels but did anyone ever look at the sodium content. It can solely do the job of sending you to the doctor’s and having you stay there.

It is also important I believe that we do basic cooking at home. Nothing fancy but cook with fresh ingredients. Not only would they be healthy but also tasty. The money we spend on buying the vegetables, fruits or meat can be savings at the other end from diet programs, doctor’s visits and medications. Of course, little bit of exercising would help as well.

Follow me on these blogs or visit my Web site at There are some simple vegetarian recipes. Join my workshop on May 22nd at Hillwood Farms in Media, PA.

Blueberries, now Açaí

I am still crazy about blueberries. It started some years ago. Why? It tastes great for thing. Secondly, it is packed with antioxidants. I go crazy over health foods. Will probably have anything that is marked healthy even if it is not tasty. Blueberries started out as a fad and is now a health food here, also quite expensive too.

Açaí from Brazil seems to be the twin sister of blueberries. Also packed with antioxidants. I have not seen the real fruit and don’t know where to find them. But, it is catching on and is a major export of Brazil. I am sure it will find its way to the U.S. and in time will become as popular as blueberries is in taste and in price. I will buy them too.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 24, Open House at Soul Source

Don't forget to stop by at the Open House on Saturday, April 24th at Soul Source, Center For Conscious Living.

Get introduced to the various practitioners and classes that are scheduled for this spring and summer. Enjoy some refreshments and the scenic setting of this beautiful, new facility.

Come and meet me at the kitchen where my workshops are conducted.

Address: Hillwood Farms, Media, PA.

Jalapeno Poppers, with herbs and spices

Check out this week's recipe, Jalapeno poppers. I tasted this at a friend's place and the next thing you know I made it at home. So, now you have it as well.

Fear of fried foods? A once in a while treat can actually be good for you.

I am guilty of that. Fried foods if you ask me are sinful. I do not like to fry anything although my husband encourages that whenever he gets a chance. We can’t however refrain completely from frying. Here’s a way one could overcome the fear of frying.

Use olive oil. It is a monosaturated fat and can actually help our bodies. It is a dietary fat that will indeed benefit our health. For instance, you can try making sweet potato chips in the oven, instead of deep frying in a pan. Look for recipes in the next ‘recipe of the week’ on my Web site

Back from my food vacation

I will not get on the scale for at least the next 10 days. My travels over the last few weeks haven’t helped at all. If you had the chance to read my blogs you would have found quite a few restaurant and food reviews. I was at a restaurant either for breakfast, or lunch or dinner every day. Sometimes we ate two meals in a restaurant. The only reasoning in my mind was that I was not going to be in India at least for another 2 to 3 years. Hopefully, I can stay away from eating out here at home for the next month or so. Today is only day 1!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hope to spend more time with new recipes

I have been torn in several different directions at work that I haven't posted excellent recipes that I do have on hand. Will be doing it starting May, 2010. In the meantime though I will still be posting some simple recipes, tried and tested.

So keep visiting my kitchen site

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I cheated on my tomato sauce and got caught

That's what happens when we get our spouses used to authentic and good tasting foods. I have been so busy and stressed with work, that I just didn't have the time to prepare the marinara sauce like I usually do, from scratch. I mixed some fresh made sauce with a good bit of organic marinara sauce. I didn't think it would make much of a difference. But of course it did. If I could tell then anybody else used to home made sauce all the time can definitely tell.

All it took was a spoon full of pasta with sauce. I did not say a word. At the end of the meal the comment was, "it didn't taste like your usual today". Well, I admitted it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mind controlling our health

I like to believe that our minds can control everything. Biologically, I know that's how it works. To actually put it into practice, it will take a whole of lot of mind training. If we can actually control the intake of food, the type of food, the effect food has on the rest of the body, then we can actually control our health too.

I think to begin with we should start with vegetarian foods. Cook a variety, make it tasty. This way you will not miss meat. Then should come quality and quantity. Followed by the effects these foods have on our body, followed by the next step of exercise. I am sure I have missed many other steps in between, before and after. In any case, if the mind can control every being and cell in us we can feel empowered. Or, maybe humbled? Meditation and yoga are a part of this mind/body/health thing. So, should add that into the mix as well.

Let me keep digging to find out what else the mind/health connection has.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Try this week's 'Recipe of the Week'

This week's recipe is Mushroom Curry. I have been reading so much about mushrooms lately that although I am not particularly a fan of mushrooms, I have started to include that in my diet.

I should say I have been feeding my family a good dose of mushrooms in various ways. I think just making it tasty and using a variety of mushroom will make it less boring and more appetizing.

Obesity in children

I read an interesting article titled 'Should childhood obesity be considered child abuse?

Maybe under certain circumstances. Especially if the mother puts the child's health in grave danger.

Any number of factors can lead to obesity especially in children. It could be genetic which can be reversed I believe, it could be a natural imbalance, socio-economic conditions, lack of education, lack of motivation to do much else to occupy your time with, depression, family situation, life style , habits, etc. etc.

I believe the root cause are the parents. Why feed the child junk all the time? Keep calories low. Don't buy junk food. Exercise, read, educate yourself and the child. Lead by example.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cream Center, a multi-cuisine restaurant

Hmm! Cream Center? I had my doubts when I heard the name. But it came highly recommended by my husband. During his last visit to Chennai, some of his classmates treated him to an excellent lunch here. So, we decided to check it out last night.

The restaurant is in the center of a residential area in Abhirmapuram, and was a residence at one point. The ambience was good and it had a quiet, clean look . I would give an ‘A’ for service.

The menu had Greek, Mexican, Italian and Indian selections. It was more curiosity than anything else that caught my attention to this dish called ‘Dham Biryani’. The description said that it was a favorite of the Kings ages ago and would be served in the style of the unique palace kitchens. It came in a wide, shallow pot. The top layer was a sheet of pastry-like covering. I was initially confused since I had never seen anything like that before. I had a zillion questions to the waiter since I thought I had ordered the wrong dish. The waiter artfully peeled off the top cover to reveal the mildly spiced, aromatic biryani below. The very first layer had fluffy white basmati followed by a layer of flavorful vegetables, followed by another layer of rice. The dish overall was decent. I felt it was more exotic looking than any other rice dish I have had.

The other two dishes, vegetable soup and vegetable Makhani with an order of Paratha were not that great. The soup was tasty but the Makhani too sweet for our palette. Overall, I really would not rave about this place. But, the experience was different than the usual Indian restaurant.

Non-meat days

It probably is very difficult for meat eaters to not have it even once a day, sometimes as a part of every meal. In the interest of health, try avoiding meat one day a week. Devote that day to a vegetarian variety. A fallacy is that vegetarain food is boring and tasteless. On the contrary, it is a whole lot of fun, satisfying and tasty too.

Try some simple recipes from

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Time for the squashes

Summer is usually the time for a variety of squashes. Squashes are multipurpose vegetables. They can be used for side dishes, breads, salads, main dishes, soups, you name it.

I will try to cover as many squash dishes as possible over the next several posts.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My favorite Malaysian restaurant

I am looking forward to going to this awesome restaurant in Philly downtown called Penang. I was there last winter and came back with no doggy bag since two of us shared the entree. The spicy mixed vegetable pot was too good as it usually is. That is basically the only thing I can eat and order. So, today I will order one just for me and have it for a lunch meal in a couple days as well.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Food manufacturing companies ought to be taxed and regulated

Everyone talks about obesity, diabetes,and weight issues even in young children. What is the cause of it? The companies that make these excessive sugar induced products and sell them everywhere. There is hardly anything in the grocery store nowadays without fructose corn syrup and added sugar in them.

What can people buy if nothing is natural? We are all so used to buying and eating these products that our bodies now crave for these foods. People here think that's how it is supposed to taste. Anything without sugar tastes weird to us.

Why can't these companies have imposed regulations? Why are they allowed to add sugar when it is not necessary? The companies need to be taxed and not the people that buy them. I think that's where the problem exists. Obesity, all kinds of diseases related to weight, excessive medical bills, frequent doctor's visits. All of these can be prevented if only we can get the right food.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Creativity in cooking

I truly believe that if you are somewhat creative and you have tons of time in your hands, and of course some free flowing money that you can spend, then you can create innumerable number of recipe ideas.

Try this simple one.
Cook a small bunch of broccoli until slightly soft. Puree it with a couple garlic cloves, a cup of chick peas, 2 Tbsps. of sesame tahini, 4 Tbsp. of olive oil, 2 Tbsps. of lemon juice and a tsp. of cumin seeds. Voila you'll have some fantastic tasting spread to go with your pita bread, a dip to go with some fresh veges or crackers. You can get more creative and make it spicy by adding 1 tsp. of chillie powder. Or, just a tsp. of curry powder will give it some more taste as well. Of course, the final ingredient would be some salt.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The latest on benefits of eating fruits and vegetables

Sure. Now the studies say there is no great benefit from eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That it doesn't necessarily lower the risk of cancer.

Common sense would say obviously we cannot follow eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and forget about the rest of the things that contribute to good health. Such as meat in moderation, no smoking, alcohol, exercerising, etc. Our genes have a lot to do with many of these things too and how our parents, grandparents and generations before lived as well. Somewhere along the way if the DNA has degenerated, then it would affect generations after.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vidya Swamy's Kitchen: Broccoli Rabe – Recipe of the week

Vidya Swamy's Kitchen: Broccoli Rabe – Recipe of the week

Mark the date, April 24 for Open House at Soul Source, Center for Conscious Living

Please mark your calendar for this date - April 24th from 1:00 - 3:00 P.M. There is an Open House at Soul Source, Center for Conscious Living. The center is located in Hillwood Farm, Media, PA.

Come and enjoy introductions to yoga, massage, meditation, astrology predictions, acupuncture, organic gardening and a whole lot more; and of course, vegetarian cooking. There will be plenty of food and people from around the area will be stopping by. So,come and enjoy yourself. You are welcome to bring the entire family.

There’s so much to chickpeas

If you are a vegetarian, then chickpeas are a gift from God. They go well with just about anything, i.e. any vegetable. if you haven’t seen this recipe yet, check it out. You may reduce the spice to your taste.

Chole (pronounced cholae)

This dish is northern Indian in origin. Made with Garbanzo beans, it can be turned into a delectable side dish. Tastes great with Puris or Bhatura.

Pointer 1: You’ll find Garbanzo cans in the ethnic/hispanic section of a regular grocery store.
Pointer 2: An ambitious cook like my mom, rarely me, would buy this raw, soak it overnight and then pressure cook. When cooked that fresh the finished dish can literally take you to the heavens.
Pointer 3: Coriander leaves as pictured above is a great garnish for vegetables. Just the right amount is sure to enhance the dish.


» 1 can of Garbanzo beans
» 2 large tomatoes, diced
» 2 Tbsp. Canola oil (you may use olive oil)
» 1 medium-sized onion, diced
» 4 cloves of garlic, crushed or diced
» 1 clove
» 1 small piece of cinnamon stick
» Red chilie powder to suit your taste
» 1 tsp. turmeric^
» 2 tsp. coriander powder^
» 2 tsp. cumin powder^
» 2 tsp. garam masala^
» 1 tsp. of concentrated tamarind paste^
» Salt to taste
» 2 Tbsps. fresh coriander leaves

Take a wok^ or a skillet. Add the oil and let it warm. Now add the cinnamon stick and clove. They will turn slightly brown. Now add garlic, saute for a couple minutes. Add the onions. Let it become translucent (saute for 5 minutes). Now add the turneric, coriander, cumin, and chilli powders. Let them roast for a couple minutes. Add the diced tomatoes. Let the mixture cook together for another 5 minutes. Now add the beans after draining the water. Add salt. Add about 1/2 a cup of regular water. Mix everything well in the wok/skillet. Cover it with a lid. Let everything cook for about 15 minutes. Make sure that the garbanzo and the spices are mixed well as they cook. Now take a potato masher and mash the garbanao just a bit so some of them are broken down. Add the tamarind paste and let it cook again for 5 more minutes. Now add the garam masala. Mix well. Turn off heat. Sprinkle the coriander leaves after it is transfered to a serving dish.

^ Please contact me for any of these ingredients or utensils.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Broccoli Rabe – Recipe of the week

The recipe of the week – Check it out at

Friday, April 2, 2010

Broccoli Rabe – Can’t wait for the leftovers

April 2nd, 2010 Just last weekend we were at Cascata Cafe for a late dinner. Among other things we had a side order of broccoli rabe. I can tell you that was the best I’ve had in so many years of eating broccoli rabe. I savored every bite, unfortunately had to share it with others because it was not even the side dish I ordered. Anyway, I paid attention to the taste and tried to remember it.

It is the same recipe I’ve always used to make rabe. Except this one at the restaurant tasted a whole lot better because of the freshness of the rabe. Couldn’t wait to get to the market the next day to buy some fresh rabe. I got to cook it a couple days ago. Made it exactly the Italian way that it is supposed to be made. Added some extra olive oil and one more thing. Maybe that was it in the restaurant too. The shiitake mushrooms sauted in garlic and olive oil with a touch of salt and crushed red pepper. That’s it. I added that to the already blanched and lightly sauteed rabe. It was excellent. I ate some and saved the left for a couple days later. Tomorrow I will finish the rest.

Next week on – Broccoli Rabe.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thank God for Spam filters

I get so many replies to my posts that are not worth posting. Thank God for those spam filters and the approval feature in this blog application that those worthless posts don’t show up immediately.