Since July 4th is right around the corner and I want to enjoy every minute of this day with my family, and not waste a lot of time cooking. For your Fourth of July family meal try making Tandoori Wings with Onion Chutney Dip.

Tandoori Wings

Tandoori Chicken Wings are delicious any time. They are marinated in Indian Spices and yogurt then baked. Served with a delicious Onion Chutney Dip.

My family loves chicken wings. We like them prepared in different styles. My daughter prefers a dry rub while my son and husband love them drenched in hot sauce. For this holiday I am giving my chicken wing recipe an international flavor by marinating my wings in spiced yogurt and baking them. To top them off, I am using my Hot Onion Chutney to make a tasty dip.

To make the wings, I prepare a marinade of yogurt, ginger, garlic, green chile, and several spices. I let the wings marinate for several hours and then bake them in the oven. They are really easy to make. The list of ingredients is long buy should not be intimidating. Before I start to make the marinade, I combine all of the powdered spices together in a small bowl.

The Hot Onion Chutney Dip is flavorful and not hot. It is easy to make if the chutney is already prepared. I try to keep it on hand, either fresh or frozen.

A few years ago, I modified my husband’s secret family recipe for Hot Onion Chutney to make it easier to prepare in a western kitchen. In the original version of the recipe, the onions and red chiles were skewered then roasted until caramelized over a flame. My version simply cooks them in a pot with some oil until caramelized. Whichever recipe you use, Hot Onion Chutney is a very versatile condiment. Whip a heaping tablespoon into eggs before they are cooked, or as a spread for sandwiches or Quesadillas.

Tandoori Wings

These Tandoori Wings are delicious and will disappear quickly. They did in my house. I have learned to double the recipe, so everyone gets as many as they wish. Happy early July 4th!

One of the snacks that I make for my family is hummus, all kinds of hummus. One of my variations is Masala Hummus. Considering how often I prepare my various hummus recipes, I’m surprised that I have not posted one since 2015 which was for White Bean Hummus.

Before I talk about the recipe, I want to let you know that this is my 400th post since I started this blog in 2010! I can’t believe I have been writing so much text over the last 8 1/2 years. I think I have written more words since 2010 than I did previously. I’m amazed with how much I have shared.

Masala Hummus

Masala Hummus with Naan Chips served with homemade naan chips.

I created my Masala Hummus with Naan Chips recipe because I was in the mood for a change from my usual recipes. Since chickpeas are common throughout Indian cuisine, from recipes for Chickpea Masala to ones for Kadala Masala Curry, I asked myself why not create a fusion recipe with chickpeas and spices as a snack?

The first step is to fry the usual suspects, onion, garlic and ginger, until they turn golden brown. Then, I add a blend of Indian spices to create a customized masala which is added to the onions and cooked. I do this to bring out the natural flavors of the spices.

The onion masala is placed in a food processor along with chickpeas, tahini, oil and lemon juice. This is ground with some water until it is smooth.

I serve the Masala Hummus with homemade naan chips. These are so easy to make. I just cut store bought naans into small pieces, spray with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle them with kosher salt. They are baked in the oven until toasty and golden brown. They make a great accompaniment to the hummus or any snack.

My family was amazed with the flavor of the Masala Hummus. I think I will need to make more since the bowl is now empty. Enjoy!

This week I wanted to make a very simple dish based on a recipe my mother-in-law brought with her from Kerala. My Shrimp Curry Rustica contains several of my favorite vegetables that are cooked in a flavorful paste.

Shrimp Curry Rustica

Shrimp Curry Rustica pairs seafood and vegetables in a gently seasoned tomato coconut sauce. This easy to make recipe is delicious over plain rice.

The paste, which is ground in a food processor or blender, is made from ground onion, garlic, ginger, coconut, green chile and cumin. After that I add a few spices just for flavor, not heat, and fry everything in hot coconut oil.

I cook bite-size pieces of carrots, zucchini, bell pepper and onion in the paste. The selection of vegetables can be changed based on your preferences.

When the vegetables are nearly cooked, I add equal parts of tomato sauce and coconut milk which make a thick and creamy sauce. After it bubbles, I simply cook the shrimp in the sauce.

Before serving the curry many recipes in Kerala add Seasonings which are spices that have been tempered in hot oil. The purpose of Seasonings is to add another layer of flavor to the finished dish. Typically, this is coconut oil. For my Seasonings, I use mustard seeds, curry leaves, a thinly sliced shallot and some bits of coconut. When the shallot and coconut begin to turn brown, I pour all of this, including the oil, over the curry.

Shrimp Curry Rustica is a very easy recipe to make because it doesn’t involve a lot of spices and complex steps. The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the vegetables!

My recommendation for serving Shrimp Curry Rustica is to prepare plain basmati rice. My husband prefers to eat it with chapati; I like rice with it. The approach should be to keep the menu simple. If you want to add a green vegetable on the side, that should complete the menu perfectly.

The recipe for Indian Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions was inspired by a traditional Middle Eastern recipe, called Mujadara, for rice and lentils that is garnished with caramelized onions. It is a hearty dish that is simply spiced with salt and black pepper to highlight the sweet, dark flavor of the caramelized onions. It can be served as a main course or as a side, hot or room temperature.

Indian Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

Indian Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions recipe is inspired by a Middle Eastern recipe, Mujadara. My vegetarian recipe adds Indian spices for enhanced flavor.

I have refashioned the recipe for this healthy vegetarian dish to incorporate whole and ground Indian spices to ramp up the flavor profile. I add whole cinnamon sticks, red chiles, black peppercorns and cumin seeds as well as ground cumin and chile powder. I use both whole Madras chiles for (some) heat and ground Kashmiri chile for its pleasant flavor.

I use commonly available brown lentils for this recipe. They are inexpensive and available at all grocery stores. Since this is an Indian fusion recipe, I use only basmati rice.

To prepare the recipe, the lentils, rice and onions are cooked separately then combined in the last step. They can be cooked concurrently or in sequence based on the number of burners and pans you have available. I start everything together but, since the onions take the longest time to cook, the rice and lentils have to wait a short while before they are added to the pot. The recipe is very easy to make and is forgiving if you ignore it for a few minutes.

I like to serve Indian Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions as both and entrée and a side dish. When I serve it as a main dish, I add a small green salad and a bowl of plain Greek yogurt on the side. For some reason, I like the flavor of yogurt with rice and lentils.

Indian Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

Indian Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions shaped in a round bowl for a different presentation.

This is a vegan recipe that leverages the increased nutritional value of serving rice and lentils together in one dish. I like to send some of the Indian Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions to work with my husband. If I don’t send food, he skips lunch. Even if it isn’t reheated, at least I know that he has something nutritious to eat during the day.

Since my recipe for chermoula makes enough for two batches, I decided to make Chermoula Chicken Kababs this week. In my previous post, I used the Indian spiced chermoula as a sauce over plain Chilean sea bass.

Chermoula, originally from countries along the northern coast of Africa, is a very versatile and delicious recipe. It can be used as a marinade, as a sauce and as a condiment on the side of an entrée. It is made with parsley, cilantro and garlic. In my recipe, I add the flavors of India including turmeric, paprika and fresh green chile, and roasted saffron, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Chermoula has a consistency like pesto after it is puréed in a food processor along with olive oil and lime juice.

This week I am using it as a marinade for chicken. This is the simplest recipe I have posted to date. I add a pound of chicken that has been cut into small cubes and marinate them in the chermoula sauce. After letting it marinate overnight I thread the chicken on skewers and grill them.

To add more flavor, I provide a Yogurt Dipping Sauce for the kababs. It is based on Indian raita with tomatoes, cucumber and onion, but puréed with yogurt.

Check out my recipe for Chilean Sea Bass With Chermoula.

My husband and I have fallen in love with Chilean sea bass. I wanted to create a recipe for it that has a sauce with a definite flavor presence. I have been fascinated with chermoula for a long time. I like the flavors of fresh herbs seasoned with spices, rich olive oil and lime juice. This sounds a lot like pesto but richer. Chermoula originated in the countries along the northern coast of Africa, each one incorporating its own unique flavor. It is used as a condiment alongside many dishes, as a marinade for meat before it is grilled and as a sauce on top of meat.


Originally from Morocco and enhanced with Indian spices, my Chermoula recipe is a versatile condiment that can be used as a marinade, sauce or curry.

In my recipe for Chermoula, I add some of the flavors of India. I roast saffron, cumin seeds and coriander seeds over an open flame then grind them into a powder. I also add turmeric, paprika and a whole green chile. Like pesto, parsley, cilantro, garlic and all of the spices are puréed in a food processor along with olive oil and lime juice.

I make several cups of chermoula at a time, so I have plenty left over for my next recipe. I love the layers of flavor in this recipe: (mild) heat from the chile, sour from the lime, bright flavor from the herbs, pungent spice from garlic and smoky floral from the saffron. It makes a great sauce to top sea bass.

Sea Bass Chermoula

Pan Fried Chilean Sea Bass with Chermoula is easy and delicious. It features an Indian spice inspired herb sauce from Morocco served over rich buttery fish.

I love the mild buttery flavor of Chilean sea bass so I chose to serve it with the chermoula sauce. I simply seasoned it with salt and pepper then pan fried it in a little bit of oil over medium-high heat until the outside was golden brown, and the center was just done, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. The fish could also be grilled but I prefer the appearance and texture when it is pan fried.

Place a piece of sea bass on each plate then top with a generous amount of chermoula on top. Serve Chilean Sea Bass with Chermoula with your favorite vegetables on the side.

In my next post I will share my recipe for chermoula marinated chicken for another easy and delicious dish.

I have been thinking about creating a recipe for Vegetable Paella with Fried Paneer for a long time. I love Spanish food and paella is one of my favorites. Fusing a Spanish rice recipe with Indian flavors and ingredients seemed like a match.

I wasn’t sure how some members of my family would like it since the rice is rich in spice and flavor and there are many goodies mixed in with it. Once I made it and served it to the picky member of my family, who will remain anonymous, she loved it! Her facial response looked like a starving person who sees food for the first time after weeks without anything!

Vegetable Paella

Vegetable Paella with Fried Paneer incorporates the spices and vegetables of India with a delicious traditional Spanish rice recipe.

The traditional first step of Indian cooking is to season oil with spices. I use a special blend of cumin, chiles, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and paprika. Before I add a few of my favorite vegetables to get them started in the cooking process. The ones I like in rice dishes are cauliflower, carrot, red bell pepper and onion.

The uncooked basmati rice is roasted in the flavored oil. Vegetable broth that has been flavored with roasted saffron is added and the rice is boiled until tender. Roasting the saffron first brings out the flavor and deepens it to complement the rice. Everything simmers together.

While the rice cooks, several other things happen. Slices of coconut and raw cashews are toasted until golden brown. Small cubes of Indian cheese, called paneer, are fried in a bit of oil until golden. These are added to the rice just when it is tender along with some green peas for color.

Toppings are also prepared. Halved Indian/baby eggplants are seasoned and oven roasted. A sliced red onion is fried until it is brown and caramelized. These are placed on top as a garnish.

The last step is to turn the heat on the stove to high and let a crispy crust form on the bottom of the rice.

It seems like there are a lot of steps in this recipe. Each one is very simple, so it is a matter of just following the recipe. I prepare Vegetable Paella with Fried Paneer in a paella pan. If you don’t have one, just use a large oven safe skillet.

I hope you try this recipe soon. Your friends and family will be so impressed! Your family members who do not allow their food to touch will be your best fans!

Indian recipes have utilized turmeric as one of the key ingredients for centuries. There is a reason for that. Turmeric contains curcumin which is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, both of which are important to one’s health. I am not going to repeat here what hundreds of articles have documented but, I am just going to say, from my experience, that adding a bit of turmeric to one’s diet is beneficial.

Turmeric is a root just like ginger, but it is smaller in diameter than ginger and the color of the flesh is bright orange. It can be used in cooking freshly grated or dried as powder. It has other uses since the bright yellow color seems to stain everything it touches, for example, dyeing fabric.

Many Indian recipes rely on the flavor of turmeric to give them their signature tastes. I think it adds a subtle and rich earthy flavor that provides a good basis for the other spices. I add it to many of my recipes and have learned that it brings the flavor of the dishes up a notch.

Cauliflower Turmeric Soup combines the health benefit of turmeric with tender cauliflower and carrots.

Cauliflower Turmeric Soup combines the health benefit of turmeric with tender cauliflower and carrots. Coconut milk can be added for a creamy version.

When I created the recipe for Cauliflower Turmeric Soup, I was looking for something light and loaded with vegetables. Since cauliflower is one of my favorites, I decided to feature it with the turmeric scented broth. This recipe is very simple to make. Simply fry the turmeric with a few Indian spices to enhance their flavor, then cook onion, garlic, cauliflower and carrots (for color) in the spices. Finally, broth is added to make the Cauliflower Turmeric Soup.

One easy variation on this recipe is to add a cup of coconut milk to make it creamy. My husband and his mother love this version. I prefer it without the coconut milk because I am trying to watch my weight.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Cauliflower Turmeric Soup as much as we do!

Everyone loves to eat meatballs. I think they are comfort food. Meatballs are popular all across the country because they can be served in so many different ways – just by themselves, in tomato sauce on top of a pile of pasta in soup, on a crusty sub roll or dressed in a creamy Swedish sauce.

Every cook has her own favorite recipe(s). I have my version of traditional Italian meatballs that I serve with homemade tomato sauce and pasta. Inspired by that recipe, I decided to create a special recipe for meatballs delicately seasoned with Indian spices that are served in a delicious curry.

Meatball Curry

Meatball Curry is a delicious curry made with fresh tomatoes, spices and coconut milk loaded with meatballs that are delicately seasoned with Indian spices.

The meatballs are made with ground beef and cooked vegetables to make them healthier and lighter than other recipes. I use diced onion, potato and carrot. The cooked vegetables can be mashed before mixing them with the meat, but I like to see the vegetable pieces in the cooked balls, so I leave them as is. I add a special blend of spices gives them a delicious flavor before forming it into small balls. They are baked in the oven until browned and cooked through.

meatball curry

Beef meatballs are delicately seasoned with Indian spices.

The curry is made by sautéing onions, garlic, ginger, chiles and tomatoes and flavoring it with a different blend of spices that is designed to complement the spices in the meatballs. As the base for the curry cooks and becomes tender, I blend it until smooth. When it is ready I stir in coconut milk to make it creamy and delicious. As the last step the meatballs are added to the curry.

This flavorful meatball curry should be served with plain basmati rice or a simple pulav. It is rich enough to impress your friends for a special gathering or serve to your family any night of the week. Based on my son’s response, I will be making this as often as I can and take it to him in Houston.

If you happen to have any leftovers, serve a few meatballs and the curry on a large crusty sub roll. It makes a delicious lunch sandwich.

During a recent visit from a friend of our family, I asked Jose about Puerto Rican cuisine and his favorite traditional recipes since I am always looking for new recipe ideas. He still has family in Puerto Rico and visits occasionally. From his childhood, his favorite recipe is Mofongo which is made with fried plantains and seasoned with garlic and pork cracklings (fried pork rinds) then mashed in a mortar and pestle, and shaped in a ball. It can be served at lunch or dinner as a side dish with rice and beans as well as with meat or shrimp. Sometimes it is eaten by itself as a snack.

Mofongo originated in the African countries close to the Gulf of Guinea and was brought to the Caribbean. Now it is popular in many Caribbean countries, including Cuba and the Dominican Republic. It has spread to New York City and other cities in the U.S. where large numbers of Puerto Ricans live.

Later, I was thinking about how to incorporate Indian spices or cooking techniques into the recipe for Mofongo. As I was looking through my recipes from Kerala, I realized that I had the perfect match! Kaya Podimas (Stir-fried Bananas), a specialty of Kerala, is also made out of green plantains, also called cooking bananas. It is boiled then mashed. All I had to do was merge the two flavors and techniques together!

The resulting recipe is called Mashed Plantains. As in the original Kerala recipe, the plantains are cut into small pieces then boiled with turmeric until tender. I mash my cooked plantains with my potato masher. Depending on your preference they can be coarsely or finely mashed.

While the plantains cook, I prepared the seasonings which include mustard seeds, urad dal, garlic, onion, sliced green chiles and curry leaves. After the seasonings are ready, I mix them into the mashed plantains along with grated and chopped coconut.

Mashed Plantains can be served like mashed potatoes or formed into a bowl over which a curry can be served. I like the contrast and visual impression it provides to my Goan Pork Vindaloo recipe when presented in a bowl shape.

As I write this post, I want to thank you for your continued interest in my recipes during this year. I look forward to sharing more unique flavors with you in the new year. Happy 2018!