Category Archives: Main Dish

Pulled Jackfruit Taco with Sugarcane tortilla


As you know I love cooking with what’s in season, go visit the local markets, pick up some produce, get some inspiration, bring it back to the kitchen and make something fun. This time when I visited India in Summer, although it was ultra blistering hot, I mean we are talking 108F and 90F at night, it did not stop me from going to the market.

I picked up some raw jackfruit, mangoes from the market and on the way home stopped off to grab a drink of fresh sugar cane juice. As I was driving home, I started thinking about my summer vacations growing up.

It used to be super hot where I grew up, but we still enjoyed our afternoons. A everlasting game of monopoly, carom board, playing cards and endless conversations were so much fun. Every summer we also visited my Nani (maternal grandma). She lived in Mumbai and the train ride to her place used to be another event we looked forward to every summer.

My Mom is a great cook and an amazing planner.  So she would pack perfect food for all our train journeys. One of the dishes was this roti/poli/tortilla made from sugar cane juice, called ‘Rasachi Dashmi’.  It not only tasted awesome but was perfect for the train journey as it stayed good without any refrigeration and tasted great cold.

My nani would always have alphonso  mangoes waiting for us along with other things from konkan and she would make the best Poli in the world. We would devour the mangoes with poli and ghee.

Kokam, Tadgola and so much more. Fragrant yellow jackfruit would fill the air. I will share more recipes using the ripe or yellow jackfruit soon.

One of those things was raw/green jackfruit. She would make the best bhaji with it, with lots of red chilies and tender cashews.

My nani is no more, but her memories I cherish through various foods. My kids are not so lucky to just hop on a train and visit their Nani, my Mom. The 10K miles is a long distance to cover. But we always take family trips in vacations, sometimes local, sometimes even staycations but always make time for family.

I know how important it is to spend time and make memories. We are all big time foodies so more often than not the destinations are picked based on the variety of food we get to eat. We love to explore local cuisines and produce, always a local market visit is included in the vacation plan.

One of the favorite destinations is Mexico, I just love Mexico. Its nice and warm, people are very friendly, I can speak the language and most of all, amazing food. I can visit Mexico many times and nto get tired.

Mexican food is probably my second most favorite food after Indian food. Whenever we visit Mexico, II make sure we go to the local markets and try some amazing dishes. Last time we visited this restaurant in Maztlan, El Precidio and everything there was incredible.



I love Mexican food as it highlights seasonal produce, perfect balance of spice, sweet, savory and just satisfying meal. I love the use chilies in many ways, I love how they use traditional cooking methods to get some complex flavors in dishes like Mole.

One of the most commonly known Mexican foods is Tacos. Simple yet flavorful, incredibly versatile.

Today’s dish is inspired by the  summer vacations, both mine and my kids’s and its tribute to the local produce.

Pulled Jackfruit Taco with Sugarcane juice tortilla


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I would love to know about your summer memories and foods. Please share in comments.



Lemon Goat cheese Ravioli

Lemon Goat cheese Ravioli

I have been a part of this cook book club and I am loving it. I feel its great because you are getting inspiration from the book and your co-chefs. Its amazing to see everyone’s take on the same dish, be it swapping out ingredients, cooking techniques or even plating.

This month’s author is  Yotam Ottolenghi and we are cooking from various books of his. I must tell you, you will fall in love with his book. I will be sharing many recipes, some just like he makes, some my variations.

Jerusalem is one of my favorite cook books, Yotam takes us down the lanes of Jerusalem. You can smell the breads from the bakery and halva on the streets.

I love the fact that he is so connected to his roots and that his cooking is simple. It speaks to you because the ingredients are honest and so are the techniques. There is a clear sense of sharing the recipes and it touches me. It focuses on various vegetables that we get through out the year and not limited to just carrots and bell peppers

Today I am sharing one of the recipes from his book Plenty. This has been my inspiration to making pasta and also make other things that I will be sharing soon.



For the pasta


3 tbsp olive oil
3 medium eggs
330g ’00’ flour, plus more for rolling
½ tsp turmeric
Grated zest of 3 lemons

For the filling


300g creamy, mild goat’s cheese
½ tsp  sea salt
1 pinch chilli flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white, beaten

To serve

2 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp roughly chopped tarragon
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Lemon juice (optional)


Mix the oil and eggs. Put the flour, turmeric and zest in a food processor, add the oil and egg mix, and blend to a crumbly dough (it may require extra flour or oil).

Once the dough has come together and is smooth (you may need to work it a little by hand, too), divide it into four thick, rectangular blocks.

Wrap in clingfilm and chill for anything from 30 minutes to two days.


Dust a work surface with flour. Take a piece of dough and flatten with a rolling pin. Set a pasta machine to its widest setting and pass through. Repeat, narrowing the setting a notch each time, until you reach the lowest setting. Place pasta sheets flat under a moist towel, so they don’t dry out.


Use a fork to crush all the filling ingredients together, apart from the egg white. Use a pastry cutter (or rim of a glass) to stamp out pasta circles roughly 7cm in diameter. Brush each with egg white and place a heaped teaspoon of filling in its centre. Place another disc on top and, with fingers dipped in flour, squeeze out any air as you bring the edges of the discs together. You should end up with a pillow-shaped centre surrounded by a 1cm edge. Tighten the edges until you can’t see a seam. Repeat with the rest of the dough, place the ravioli on a tray sprinkled with semolina, and leave to dry for 15 minutes. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for a day or two.


To serve, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta for two to three minutes, until al dente, drain and divide between four plates. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns, tarragon and lemon zest. Drizzle with rapeseed oil, add salt and a squirt of lemon juice, and serve piping hot.

Two cheese Gnocchi with Brown butter-sage sauce


I love making things from scratch. Although in this day and age where everything is instant and easy, I feel that there is very special when it is made at home from scratch. Agreed that it involves time and effort, but I feel that if I can not spend time and effort on my happiness then what is the point. My grandma used to say in Marathi ( my mother tongue) ,” कशासाठी  पोटासाठी ” which roughly translates to ” everything is for your stomach”. It is so true. You work hard to earn money so you can eat well and be healthy. So I think this extra effort is worth it when it means the health and happiness of you and the loved one.

Also, I think there is something immensely satisfying about working the dough with your hands, so I decided to make the Gnocchi at home. When you think of Gnocchi, you think of these tiny little dumpling that are made with some kind of potato and flour. However the potato was introduced to Europe only in the 16th century but history of Gnocchi goes back much further than that. Gnocchi was made with flour of some kind, egg and some kind of cheese. So when I wanted to do a series of posts on Ricotta, I decided to make the gnocchi with Ricotta.  I found this recipe on Wisconsin cheese site, and looked very tempting. When I read that it was by Michael Symon, I was sure that it would turn out good.

I am plan to post a series on Ricotta cheese.

So here is ‘Two cheese Gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce’- my first dish from the series on Ricotta cheese.

Brown Butter sauce-sage Gnochhi

Brown Butter sauce-sage Gnochhi


For the gnocchi:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1/4 cup (3 ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 cup (8 ounces) Part-skim ricotta cheese, drained
1 egg

For the sauce:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
12 sage leaves
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
12 fresh parsley leaves


Ingredients for the sauce


Make the gnocchi:

Combine flour, parmesan and lemon zest in bowl. Add ricotta and egg. Mix well with wooden spoon or your fingers until dough just comes together. Do not overwork or dough can toughen.



Scrape dough onto a well-floured surface and form into a roll. Cut dough into fourths, using bench scraper or knife. Gently roll each piece into foot-long ropes, about an inch in diameter, flouring as needed to prevent dough from sticking to surface.

Place dough ropes on lightly floured platter or sheet pan; refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to two hours, uncovered, to rest. As you may know, anything that uses flour should be allowed to rest a while. This allows the flour to bloom.

Place ropes on floured surface; cut into 1/2-inch pieces with scraper or knife.

Typically gnocchis are curled on a board or with the fork. Since we are using the ricotta cheese, the dough is very delicate so instead of using the curling method, we will just cut the dough.

Finish the dish

Heat butter over medium-high heat in sauté pan large enough to accommodate all gnocchi without crowding.

When butter foams, add gnocchi—do not crowd—and cook, turning as necessary, until brown and crisped on all sides, 5-6 minutes.

When gnocchi are almost cooked, lower heat to medium and add shallot and sage leaves.

Cook briefly to release flavors; then add garlic, lemon juice and water.

Cook briefly, allowing sauce to emulsify and thicken a bit. Add 1/3 cup parmesan and parsley leaves. Toss to coat gnocchi. Spoon gnocchi and sauce into shallow bowls.

Serve immediately else you will end up eating all of it.

Gnochhi Close-up




Today I served it with grilled marinated portabella mushrooms.

Mushrooms and vinegar

Mushrooms and vinegar

Grilled trout with herbs


I love summers especially since we can enjoy barbeque outside. There is something special about this time of the year when you get abundant  vegetables and fresh herbs in the farmers market, all the produce is at its peak and taste great.


I love summers also because we can grill out side. You can just have meats and veggies ready and when everyone gathers, just throw them on the grill and you got yourself a meal. There are two camps when it comes to grill, the coal one and the non-coal one, we for sure belong to the first one. In my opinion nothing beats the taste of fresh corn on the cob just grilled to perfection on the coals. The chicken tikka with the smoky flavor of the coal tastes amazing. So as you can see we love grilling with coals.

So today we had a few friends over for BBQ. I had marinated a lot of veggies, made some stuffed pepper , there was fresh corn on the cob, some couscous, masala chicken and my son decided to make some fish.

Veggies ready for the grill

When it comes to fish I am very picky, not because I want to be  but because of the fact that I can only eat fresh water fish. I am ok with catfish, bass etc but can not eat salmon.

So when my son decided to make trout and that too whole fish, I was a little skeptical but decided to go along. He went and bought the trout from Whole Foods, and made it with very simple ingredients..but man it tasted so yummy. It was delicate yet flavorful.


4 whole fresh water trouts

few sprigs of dill

few leaves of sage

few sprigs of parsley

few taregon leaves

2 lemons sliced

salt & pepper

Olive oil

Trout 7


With a sharp boning knife slice the fish horizontally.

Apply some olive oil both inside & outside.

Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Layer the inside with some herbs and lemon slices.

Trout 2

Let it sit for 10-15 mins covered.

Trout 1

Brush the grill with olive oil. And place the fish gently on the grill.Cook for 3-4 mins on the first side and then a couple of minutes on the other side.

To serve

Take the main bone out, take the fins, head and tail off. Make into fillet and serve. My son did an amazing job of taking the main bone out and filleting the cooked fish.

Shrimps in smoky chipotle sauce


Shrimps in smoky chipotle sauce

Fancy Mexican- trio on a plate Jun 23, 2015, 7-15 PM

Last night’s meal was theme based and the theme was ‘Smoke’. All the dishes made had an element of ‘smoke’. It also had another common theme that the flavors were from Mexican/Latin cuisine. So I made three dishes, ‘Barley risotto’, Roasted corn and Mango Salad’ &  Chipotle shrimps. It was yummy. I loved the fact that it used the summer ingredients and was perfect for the warm weather.

I try to ensure that the meals are balanced so in this meal with have barley for the starch, shrimps for the protein and corn & mango for the vegetables.

Shrimps in smoky chipotle sauce

The recipes was based on many recipes I have read and eaten, so thank you to those folks for inspiring me. It is easy to make and you can play with the ingredients to get the right taste for your family.


1 1/2 lb of shrimps, peeled and deveined

1 tsp crushed garlic

2 tbsp flour

1 large tomato , quarterd

1/2 large white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 chipotle chilies

2 tbsp cilantro

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tbsp molasses

1/2 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp paprika


Saute the onions and garlic until tender, dont let them burn. Grind the tomatoes, along with the sauted onions & garlic.

Take the shrimps in a bowl,add some salt, crushed garlic, chopped cilantro & mix it well. Add a couple of tbsp of flour and mix well.

Heat some more oil in a pan. Sauté the shrimps till then are a little under done. Remember they will cook more when we heat them up with the sauce. Take the shrimps out on a plate.

In the same pan, add some more oil or butter. Add the blended tomato paste to the pan and cook for a few minutes, add molasses and worchestire sauce to taste. Once the sauce comes together nicely, add back the shrimps.

Serve with a rice or potatoes on the side. Last night I served it with the Barley Risotto & Roasted Corn Salsa.


Chicken marsala- sounds like masala but so much different

Chicken marsala- sounds like masala but so much different

I love Chicken Marsala, it is flavorful not heavy and very easy to make. Another reason I like it is that it has mushrooms, and I love mushrooms.

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

I have always loved mushrooms. But when I ate Portabella mushrooms, I fell in love with them. I like the fact that it holds its shape even after cooking and does not melt away.


I feel that everyone should be like that, try to adapt to the situation without giving up your own. I feel very strongly about it since in India where I grew up, it is expected that  when a woman gets married she forgets her past, her existence and gives herself to the new family, adapts to the new customs and mold herself to the liking of her husband and her in laws. I think it is not fair..not only because she has to make so many adjustments but that she can not be herself any more. Change of name, wearing symbols showing she is married, keeping fast for her husband…all are one sided adjustments that are expected of a woman and very rarely reciprocated.

I guess Women rights is is not the topic of this post, mushrooms are, so moving on…

In winter when the farmers market sort of shrinks, there are very few vegetables, a star like mushroom comes to the rescue. And a dish like ‘Chicken Marsala’ showcases the mushrooms very well.

I had watched a food network show where a chef ( I think it was Giada)made Chicken Marsala, I thought it is so easy and have been making it for a while now.

The recipe itself is very simple, very few ingredients and comes together very quickly. It also looks very fancy so makes a great candidate when you have company. It can be made ahead and kept warm.


For the chicken cutlets

2 Boneless skinless Organic Chicken breasts

1/2 cup all purpose flour

Salt & Pepper to taste



4 cups sliced crimini mushrooms

1/2 cup Sweet Marsala wine

1/2 cup organic chicken stock

3 oz prosciutto chopped in small pieces

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped Parsley


Chicken Cutlets

Slice the chicken in half horizontally, or cut like butterfly. Put in on a cutting board, cover with plastic and pound  it with a mallet till it is nice thickness.

Season with salt & pepper.

Take flour in a wider bowl & season with salt & pepper generously.

Heat a skillet on medium heat.

Drench chicken in the flour mixture well. Shake off the excess flour.


Add olive oil to the skillet and add the flour covered chicken pieces.


Cook till it is nice and brown on both sides, about 4-5 mins on each side. If the chicken piece is thicker, it might take longer.


Remove and keep aside on a plate. Keep it covered so it stays warm.


In the same pan add the chopped prosciutto on medium heat. It will gives out some fat, after it browns.


Add the sliced mushrooms.


Cook the mushrooms until they are a bit softer. Season with some pepper.


Add the marsala and cook till the alcohol burns.


I like to flambe the mushrooms at this point. I think it adds a nice flavor to the mushrooms & helps burn the alcohol off.


Add the chicken stock and cook a few mins.


Add the chicken cutlets and heat through. Add butter and stir well.


Add chopped parsley.


I like to serve it with something like orzo, mashed potatoes.


I think these serve like a blank canvas, take on the flavors of the main dish, in this case the Chicken Marsala.

Chicken Savji- a unique chicken curry


I posted Jowar Bhakri last week. One of the accompaniments was Chicken Savji and many people asked for the recipe.So as promised here are the recipes of Chicken Savji.

Chicken savji can be made in two ways, Solapuri and Nagpuri style. This is made with the recipe that my mom makes, it is a little different than the Savji on the Nagpur side. I make both, but like the Solapuri version a little more.

Savji– सोलापुर स्टाइल

Savaji Chicken…my mom makes Savaji mutton, the same masala with chicken.I love Savji Chicken…it is very very yummy. Typically indian meat curries have tomato, onion as a base. This recipe is unique since it does not have onion or tomatoes.

Savaji Chicken

savaji chicken


1 lb Chicken( I make it with boneless for the kids, but tastes better with boned)
1tsp haldi
2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste

Dry Masala

1/2 cup dry roasted coconut ( I take the dry coconut wati and almost burn it on the gas flame, you can also use shredded coconut)
2 tbsp of khukhus
2 tbsp of Sesame seeds


2 tbsp tamarind pulp ( mixed with some water)


1.5 tsp garam masala
2-3 tbsp Bedagi chilli powder



Dry roast khuskhus, til and coconut and grind together to make a fine paste. I use my coffee grinder.

Marinate chicken with 1tbsp ginger garlic paste,salt and haldi.
Heat oil, add ½ garam masala, chili powder.


Add chicken pieces. Saute for a few minutes, add hot water, cook for some time.


Add tamarind pulp and  the remaining ginger garlic paste.


Add boiling water to get the consistency of the curry you like. Bring it to a good boil. Add the til-khukhus paste.

Taste and add more garam masala/chili powder as needed. My mom likes to season the dish as she goes along, I feel it works really well.Do not boil too much after the paste is added  otherwise it gives out oil and does not taste very good.

Serve with bhakri. It taste good even the next day.

IMG_2251 1



It tastes really good with mutton, in fact I feel the mutton savji tastes better than the chicken version.



Chicken enchilada


I am sure that my daughter was born in a hispanic or latin family in her previous birth. Anytime I ask her what she would like for dinner, the answer is either fajita, quesadilla, chili but her favorite is enchilada. So today’s recipe is enchilada.

I feel key to a good enchilada is the sauce, if you get the sauce right you got 70% dish right. I learnt to make this sauce from Iris ( pronounced as ‘ee-ra-is’), she comes from the Jalisco province of Mexico and this is how her mom makes the sauce.

Chicken Fajita Enchilada







1 lb chicken, I make it with minced chicken or the rotisserie chicken and both taste good

1/2 Green bell pepper cut in short strips

1/2 Red bell pepper cut in short strips

1/2 onion sliced

2 tbsp homemade mexcian seasoning


2 cups of shredded mexican style cheese



2 Roma tomatoes

8-10 Tomatillos

1 jalapeno

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 onion cut in big chunks

1-2 dried red chili , you can use chipotle, guajillo or ancho chili

2-3 tbsp cilantro


6-8 tortillas



Step 1:

Make the sauce

Preheat the oven 400F.


Clean the tomatillos. Arrange tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, onion, jalapeno in a baking dish. Sprinkle with oil and salt.  Bake it in the oven till you see the tops of the vegetables browning. I like mine a little smoky so I leave them in till they get black spots. If you like your salsa smoky, add the dried guajillo chili to the roasting vegetables for the last 5 mins.

If you are not planning to roast the dried chili with the vegetables. soak it in warm water for 15-20 mins( longer is ok).

Grind the roasted vegetables with a cup of water( you can also use chicken stock) With chopped cilantro, soaked dried guajillo chili and salt.


Step 2:

Prepare the filling

If you are using the rotisserie chicken, de-skin & de-bone the chicken, you should be left with cooked shredded chicken.


In a pan heat some oil. Add sliced onions and saute until nicely browned ( I like mine almost caramelized).



Once the onion are done, add the shredded chicken and sliced bell peppers.


Cook for a few mins, add ‘Fajita seasoning ( see note)’.  Cook until all the flavors come together. Add chopped cilantro and take it off the heat.


Once the meat mixture is cooled to room temperature, mix in 1 of the the shredded cheese and keep the mixture aside.

Step 3:


Take a baking dish. Cover the dish with a thin layer of the sauce to prevent the tortilla from sticking to the dish. Take a plate and pour the rest of the sauce in that plate.

Dip the tortilla in the sauce, flip over to coat both sides.


Spoon heapful of the chicken & cheese mixture on the center.



Roll it up and arrange the roll on the baking dish.


Finish arranging the rest of the tortillas in the baking dish.



Cover this with the remaining cup of shredded cheese.


Bake it in a 350F oven till everything heats through and the cheese melts ( about 25-35 mins). If you think that the cheese is melting but the enchilada is n heating through, you can cover the dish with an aluminum foil while baking, take it off during the last 7-10 mins for the cheese to get golden brown.

Serve it with a dollop of ‘fresh crema’!



Vegetarian option: You can make a vegetarian version very easily. I make mine with sliced portobello mushroom, zucchini, carrots. My mom is a pure vegetarian and she loves it.

Spice mix: I  make my own Mexican seasoning which I use in all mexican dishes like fajita, taco, enchilada and even chili.