I make crab cutlets at home all the time because they are so delicious and easy to make. My family loves crab so I keep a jar of lump crab in my refrigerator at all times. It is a perfect standby meal since it keeps for many months.

This week I made crab cutlets that are infused with Indian spices to make a change from my usual Maryland style recipe. I temper a blend of Indian spices in hot oil along with minced shallots, garlic and green chile. This brings out their flavor and eliminates the raw spice flavor from the cutlets.

Crab Cutlets

Crab Cutlets are easy to make and can be served any meal. My recipe incorporates tempered Indian spices into this recipe. Serve with Sweet Chile Aioli.

The crab is mixed together with the tempered shallot-spice mix, egg, bread crumbs, cilantro and lime juice. After dividing the mixture into portions, I form the individual cutlets. They are browned on both sides in a hot skillet before being served.

I form my crab cutlets to serve 6 people. You can make them larger or smaller according to your preferences. They can be made into bite-sized cutlets that would be perfect for serving as an appetizer or at a party. Including crab on a party menu makes guests feel that they are important and this event is special.

Since crab cakes or cutlets are always served with a dipping sauce, I thought I would combine sweet and heat in this sauce. To make Sweet Chile Aioli, I use local honey that blends smoothly with the mayonnaise and mix in a generous amount of red Madras chile powder. I don’t use so much that your mouth is inflamed, but just enough that you notice a bit of heat with the sweet. The red color of the aioli complements the light color of the cutlets.

One of the favorite items in Indian cuisine is the cutlet. There are many different varieties, from those with meat like fish or chicken, to vegetarian options including beets or mixed vegetables. All of the recipes I have made or sampled use finely chopped and fully cooked ingredients that are formed into small patties before they are deep fried. With my Zucchini Cutlets recipe, I am changing the game.

Zucchini Cutlets with Chile Aioli

Zucchini Cutlets are easy to make and can be served at any meal. My recipe incorporates spices and a favorite vegetable into the popular Indian recipe.

Since summer vegetables are still available in plenty, I decided to make Zucchini Cutlets that feature the raw squash which would leave them crispy and flavorful after they are cooked. Instead of chopping them finely in a food processor, I grate them into large strings.

To make the Zucchini Cutlets, I mash a boiled potato and beat an egg to form the binding component. To this I add a cooked onion, ginger and garlic mixture. The flavor of these raw ingredients would overpower the delicate flavor of the zucchini. Just a quick fry in a bit of olive oil tames their flavors to complement the squash.

I form the cutlets using a generous spoonful of the mixture and shaping them into balls, flattening them so they are about a half-inch thick and rolling them in unseasoned bread crumbs. Cream of wheat can also be used to give the cutlets a delicate crust. In India, rava, finely ground wheat just like cream of wheat or semolina, is used to coat patties. It is the main ingredient in Dosas, Uppuma, Kesari and many other sweet or savory recipes. Once the cutlets are formed, they are pan fried in canola for about 5 minutes on each side.

Zucchini Cutlets are best served with Chile Aioli. It is a simple recipe that provides a tiny bit of heat with the tang of lime.

These Zucchini Cutlets can be served as party appetizers by forming small cutlets. Making large cutlets can be served as entrées.

Other cutlet recipes from Kachi’s Kitchen include:

Quinoa Cutlets

Salmon Cutlets

Yam Cutlets


As the summer heat continues to drag into September, I wanted to take advantage of the abundant fresh summer vegetables and combine them with Indian basmati rice to create a cool Summer Rice Salad. It is hearty enough to be an entrée but is healthy enough that I would not feel guilty about having seconds. This salad is absolutely loaded with fresh vegetables. I selected carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and spinach to give the recipe a lot of color and textures.

Summer Rice Salad

This easy to make Summer Rice Salad combines healthy vegetables and fragrant basmati rice with a light dressing. Delicious for any meal.

This recipe is very easy to make. First, the rice is cooked with a few whole Indian spices to add flavor to the rice. Next, I cook the onion in spiced oil just until it turns translucent and loses the overpowering raw onion flavor. When the rice and onion have cooled I simply combine them together with the chopped vegetables. The Summer Rice Salad is simply dressed in a cumin flavored vinaigrette just before it is served.

The best part about my Summer Rice Salad recipe is its flexibility. Additional vegetables can be added or different ones substituted to suit your preferences. To make this recipe even easier and quicker, use leftover rice from another dish. It won’t have the flavor of the spiced rice but it will save you quite a bit of time.

One of the most delicious dishes in Indian cuisine is biryani. It originated in Persia and was brought to India when the Mughals invaded India in the sixteenth century.  It is popular because it is a complete, delicious meal in one dish that includes rice, meat and vegetables.

Everyone loves the sophisticated flavors of the spices, the mouthwatering aroma and the delicate texture of the rice and main ingredients which can be lamb, chicken, seafood or vegetable. In India, each state and each household makes it slightly differently by varying the meat, vegetables and spices. With so many ways to make it, I can never get tired of it.

Seafood Biryani

Delicious layered Seafood Biryani prepared in an authentic Indian recipe features marinated shrimp, scallops and calamari baked in layers of basmati rice.

My Seafood Biryani recipe is a traditional layered biryani in which alternating layers of rice and seafood are placed in the pot before it is baked. Since this takes a little more time, some recipes skip this step, like I did in my Chicken Biryani recipe. My husband believes that layered biryani tastes better. I think it is better because the appearance is more pleasing, therefore it must taste better.

In my recipe for Seafood Biryani, I use a combination of bay scallops, shrimp and squid. Any combination of seafood will be delicious. A firm fish like swordfish or halibut, mussels, clams, lobster or any of your favorites will be tasty. The seafood is marinated in a blend of Indian spices for a short period of time so the flavors can be absorbed. It is then cooked in a specially seasoned oil.

After the basmati rice is boiled, the biryani is assembled. Alternating layers of rice and seafood are placed in an oven-safe pot. Between each layer, a few grains of rice that have been dipped in food coloring and a bit of saffron milk are drizzled on top.

When the layers are completed, spiced caramelized onions and whole cashews are placed on top. Baking the Seafood Biryani for 15 minutes allows the flavors to blend. When the biryani comes out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Place a generous scoop of biryani on each plate, making sure to include each layer. This dish is best served with Onion Raita.

The seafood is tender and full of flavor. Each rice grain is different in color, from white to orange or red. The caramelized onions add a little sweetness, the saffron infuses a complex taste of mystery and the cashews bring a bit of sophistication to this delicious recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!


Additional recipes from Kachi’s Kitchen for biryani:

Sweet Corn Biryani (2015) incorporates fresh Iowa grown sweet corn sent to me by friends. Perfect for summer dining.

Dum Pukht Chicken Biryani (2012) traditional and most delicious biryani cooked to perfection inside a sealed pot. Perfect for a dinner party.

Langoustine Biryani (2012) is a simplified biryani recipe that uses a packaged spice mix imported from Kerala.

Chicken Biryani (2010) traditional recipe for biryani.

With summer temperatures hovering at 100 degrees, I am preparing simple meals that can be prepared quickly without heating up the kitchen. I have modified the standard Vegetable Rice recipe to incorporate popular summer vegetables. I include zucchini and carrots that can be found in abundance in many back yards or at farmers’ markets in my Summer Spiced Rice.

Summer Spiced Rice

Summer Spiced Rice is an easy to make, delicious and healthy vegetarian recipe that uses fresh summer vegetables and Indian spices to flavor the rice.

This versatile recipe for Summer Spiced Rice can be served as the main course for lunch or as a side with dinner. I like it with grilled salmon and grilled chicken since their flavors are light.

Summer Spiced Rice can be prepared in about 20 minutes. While the basmati rice cooks with whole Indian spices, the vegetables are cooked and spiced in another pan. I grate the zucchini and carrot, and slice the onion thinly to reduce the time needed to cook them. I add a cup of cooked chickpeas to the pot provide protein and create a balanced meal. While the vegetables cook, cumin, coriander and garam masala are added for a light Indian flavor. One thinly sliced green chile adds a tiny amount of heat to the finished dish.

Summer Spiced Rice with Salmon

Summer Spiced Rice with Salmon

Just before I serve Summer Spiced Rice, I top it with a thinly sliced green onion for contrasting flavor and texture. The zucchini and carrot provide a light crunch against the smooth rice and chickpeas. This dish is it not heavily spiced so it pairs well with any menu.

To finish my series on Indian inspired burgers, I am incorporating the flavors of the Malabar Coast, the plain along the coast of Kerala on the Arabian Sea. This is the land of my husband’s ancestors so the flavors of the food here have been imbedded into his DNA.

To make Malabar Burgers, I created a Malabar Masala that I use to flavor the burgers. It is based on a spice mixture from Kerala. An authentic Malabar Masala is comprised of whole spices that are roasted to bring out their flavor then ground before it is used. I simplified it to use pre-ground spices and added caramelized red onion, dried red chiles and finely chopped coconut to enhance the flavors. It seems everything in Kerala has coconut and chiles in it, so why not add them to burgers.

Malabar Burger

With the flavors of the Malabar Coast these tasty burgers are flavored with Malabar Masala spices then topped with tangy Cabbage Slaw. They are served on flaky Malabar layered parathas.

Once the Malabar Masala is ready I simply combine it with the ground beef and form the patties. Letting the patties rest before cooking allows the flavor of the Masala to permeate the meat.

To add contrast in flavor, color and texture, I top the burgers with a tangy Cabbage Slaw. It gets a slight punch from the minced green chile. It is dressed with a simple yogurt, mayonnaise and vinegar sauce.

The Malabar Burgers are served on traditional Malabar parathas. They are made with white flour and layered, like those from South India on which I serve the Madras Burgers. Malabar parathas’ layers are formed by rolling out the dough as thinly as possible, forming layers by pleating it like a fan and then coiling the pleated rectangle into a circle. It is then rolled to flatten it. They are cooked on a tava like other Indian breads. The resulting paratha is light and flaky, almost like an Indian croissant. They have an absolutely heavenly flavor and are quite addictive!

The burgers are placed on the cooked Malabar parathas and topped with a generous amount of Cabbage Slaw. These burgers are very easy to make and everyone one will love the flavors of Kerala in a tasty summer dish.

Check out these other burger recipes as well:

Bombay Burgers

Goa Balchao Sliders

Madras Burgers

For the third installment of my month of Indian themed burgers, I move to Madras, now called Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu. This is the city in which my husband grew up so this series would not be complete without a Madras Burger recipe.

Madras Burger

The essence of South Indian spices are incorporated into these delicious Madras Burgers. They are topped with homemade onion spread and served on layered parathas.

These easy to make burgers are filled with a spicy mixture of green chiles, ginger, garlic and onion that have been fried in Indian spiced oil. When the vegetables are tender, I mix them into the fresh ground beef and shape the patties. This mixture gives the meat flavor without being overbearing in heat.

The topping for the Madras Burger is based on my husband’s grandmother’s recipe for Hot Onion Chutney. I have modified it for this recipe so it is a creamy spread and has just a moderate amount heat without being pungent. As the onions are caramelized, they become sweet. This contrasts with the red chiles that are fried with them. When the onions are done, I place them in the blender and process them until they are a smooth paste.

To serve the Madras Burgers, I toast South Indian paratha which is a layered unleavened flatbread. They can be made at home or purchased at Indian grocery stores.

Paratha are made with whole wheat flour that is rolled out into a large sheet. As the dough is folded into layers, a tiny amount of oil or ghee is spread between each one. When formed, they are toasted until golden brown on a hot tava or griddle. They are delicious with tender and flaky layers. Of course, they are higher in calories than chapatis. In North India, they are called paratha.

Once the paratha are ready, I cut them in half to fit the burgers. With one patty on top, add a generous spoonful of the Hot Onion Spread and top with some romaine, a tomato slice and the other paratha half.

These Madras Burgers with the Hot Onion Spread are delicious and easy to make. A perfect addition to your next summer barbeque!

Next week, I will travel to southwest India for Malabar Burgers to complete my series of summer burgers.

Continuing my series of Indian themed burgers, I chose to move south from Bombay to Goa. It is one of the most beautiful states in India. With the lush green trees, beautiful sandy beaches and charming historic buildings, it is a place I long to return to again.

Goa Balchao Sliders

The essence of Goan cuisine (sweet, sour and spice) defines these tasty Balchao Sliders. They are topped with sweet grilled onions and tangy mango chutney.

I have designed my Balchao Sliders to incorporate the three key components of Goan cuisine in mind: sweet, sour and spice. Balchao is a special Goan blend of hot red chiles, sweet caramelized onions, sautéed tomatoes and flavorful spices. It usually has a bit of vinegar or another sour ingredient when made as a sauce. Since I use my Balchao mixture as the filling for my burgers, I did not want that flavor to conflict with the burgers. I left the sour and sweet tastes for the toppings.

Once the Balchao mixture is cooked, it is ground until smooth and added to the beef. I form small bite-sized burgers, or sliders, for fun; they can also be made full-size.

The sliders are topped with spiced grilled onions which add a bit of sweetness when they are caramelized. They are lightly spiced with cumin, chile powder and salt.

The key ingredient is my sweet and sour Mango Chutney. I add vinegar to the recipe to increase the flavor profile of this Goan recipe. I use Mango Chutney as the topping for the sliders. It served as a condiment along with Indian meals that contain meat. I like to use it as a spread on sandwiches or simply served on a cracker with cheese.

To serve the Balchao Sliders, place each patty on a small sourdough slider bun, top with a spoonful of grilled onions and a dollop of Mango Chutney. Each ingredient of these sliders contributes a piece of the secret to Goan cuisine.

These Balchao Sliders are delicious and will be a hit at your next barbecue!

Next week, I will travel to southeast India for Madras Burgers.

July is the perfect month for families to grill burgers on the grill and have picnics. In honor of Independence Day, I am focusing my recipes on burgers that I fuse with the flavors of my favorite (based on my limited travels) cities and states in India. Among the cities or states that I will feature this month are Bombay, Madras, Goa and Kerala (Malabar Coast).

Bombay Burger

Incorporating the flavors of Bombay, these tasty burgers are flavored with exotic spices and peppers then topped with cool mint sauce and cheese.

The first burger recipe, the Bombay Burger, is based on flavors that are found in north Indian cuisine. The meat is seasoned with a spice mix of garam masala, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, clove and amchur powder. These are the usual spices that are used in kababs. Amchur powder, made from dried green (unripe) mangoes, is a spice unique to India that brings a slightly sour taste to food. Like most Indian recipes, onion, ginger, garlic and chiles are fried in a bit of oil and added to the spices mix. To temper the heat in this recipe, I use a whole Anaheim pepper for its flavor and texture.

After my burger ingredients are ready, I mix them into the ground sirloin and form the patties. These are grilled until beautifully charred and cooked through.

The Bombay Burgers are served on toasted north Indian naans with slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. To complete the burgers, I serve them with a Mint Sauce which is based on my recipe for Mint Chutney. The flavor of the mint and tang of the yogurt complement the flavors in the meat perfectly!

These hearty Bombay Burgers are so full of flavor and will be a hit at your July 4th cookout.

Next week, my burger series moves south to Goa.

When I was working on my recipe for Stuffed Potato Skins, I wanted to create a dip or sauce that would bring some zip to the potatoes. After I served this recipe, my husband said it was the best mint chutney that he has ever tasted. Based on his accolades I decided that I had to share it with you, hence I created this post just for my mint chutney recipe.

Creamy Mint Chutney

Creamy Mint Chutney

I started with my mother-in-law’s traditional recipe, changed up the ingredients and blended it with thick and creamy Greek yogurt.

Try this easy to make vegetarian Creamy Mint Chutney recipe to pair with a snack, like my Stuffed Potato Skins, or as a condiment for any meal. It is delicious and everyone will love it!