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!

I read recently that potato skins were coming back as a popular item on restaurant menus. I remember eating them so many times back in the 1980s when I was younger and didn’t have to stress so much anything that went into my mouth. My husband loved them so we would order them as an appetizer when we went out to eat. When I told my husband about my idea for a new potato skins recipe, he was ecstatic.

With the creation of my Stuffed Potato Skins recipe, I am finally at the front end of a gastronomic trend!

This Stuffed Potato Skins with Creamy Mint Chutney recipe combines the spices and vegetables found in Indian food and incorporates them into an American favorite appetizer recipe. It is a fusion of American potato skins and Indian samosas without the added fat and calories from deep frying. After the potatoes are baked, the insides are scooped out and the shells are set aside to be stuffed when the filling is ready.

To make the filling, a bit of oil is seasoned with cumin seeds and a special blend of ground Indian spices that is similar to those used in making samosas. It includes garam masala, coriander, cumin, chile powder and amchur. The potato is added to the pot along with chopped onion, garlic, carrot and peas for color and variety of texture. Everything is cooked together with a bit of water to form the filling. Mashing the potato with a spoon makes it smoother but leaving it chunky is fine too. I let everything cook together for just a few minutes to let the flavors blend.

I stuff this mixture back into the potato skins, top them with paprika and kosher salt then broil them until hot and tasty.

To serve, I top the Stuffed Potato Skins with thinly sliced green onions and a side of Creamy Mint Chutney.

These Stuffed Potato Skins are best served with Creamy Mint Chutney as a dipping sauce which can be made ahead. Try this easy to make vegetarian recipe for a snack or a party. It is delicious and everyone will ask for more!

My husband absolutely loved these Potato Skins! He snatched one just as I finished taking the photos and took them for lunch. Now he wants me to make more of them.

Everyone loves to eat burritos! Every restaurant seems to have one on its menu. Originating in Mexico as a tortilla filled with beans and wrapped for a meal on the go, they are now a staple food in Texas and have become an international hit. My son eats them at his favorite Tex-Mex restaurant at least once every week. He fills his burrito with seasoned steak, brown rice, black beans and hot sauce. I like chicken with a lot of veggies in mine. Many people add cheese, lettuce and guacamole as well.

Spicy Chori Burritos

Fusing Tex-Mex recipes with Indian ingredients and spices produce great food. Spicy Chori Burritos are delicious and fun to make!

When planning this recipe, I wanted to bring the ingredients and spices of India to a Tex-Mex favorite. I wanted this to be a vegetarian recipe as are so many of the best Indian recipes. I decided to use the same small red beans, called adzuki or chori, that are featured in my lentil recipe called Chokapu Payar (red beans in Malayalam) that I included in my first cookbook, Kachi’s Kitchen. These beans are about a quarter of the size of their larger cousins that are found on most salad bars but have a firmer texture than the larger ones. Their small size makes them perfect for burritos. They are my favorite beans for cooking and eating.

Chori beans are usually soaked overnight to shorten the cooking time. After they boil for about an hour, they are added to a fried onion, garlic, chile and tomato mixture that has been seasoned with a special blend of Indian spices.

To make the Spicy Chori Burritos, I fill fresh flour tortillas with a generous helping of the spiced chori beans, cumin spiced brown basmati rice and two types of homemade salsa. I garnish the burritos with cheese, lettuce and a dollop of yogurt before they are folded and wrapped to look like the “little burro” for which they are named.

I have made these burritos often for my son and husband who loved them. My next adventure in burritos will be a chicken version to appease my daughter. That one will be a lot of fun!

The filling for the Spicy Chori Burritos can be made in advance and reheated just before assembling the burritos. The beans can be purchased at any Indian grocery store.

Since fava beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein, they have become another of my favorite foods. Thought to have originated in North Africa and spread to the the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern, they have become part of many different cuisines around the world. If you have trouble finding fava beans, look for broad beans, field beans and horse beans as they are different names.

Fava beans are often cooked then ground to form a tasty bean dip. The first step is to prepare the beans by soaking them overnight, boiling them until tender and finally removing the skins. I suppose the skins could be left on the beans when making the pesto but I prefer removing them for a smoother consistency.

Fava Bean Pesto Pasta

Fava beans add nutritional value to pesto. When combined with Indian spices, it creates a fusion of flavor.

In my Fava Bean Pesto recipe, I grind the beans with the spinach, arugula, garlic, Indian spices, and, of course, olive oil. I add a bit of parmesan cheese and lemon juice to balance the flavor.

To finish this recipe, I combine the pesto with pasta. Adding a bit of the water in which the pasta was cooked aids in forming a creamy sauce. I used high quality packaged spaghetti, but any pasta will be good. Using fusilli, penne or rotini which have nooks and crannies for the pesto to fill is an excellent choice.

I used half of the pesto with one pound of pasta. The rest can be used on sandwiches, as a dip or even frozen for future use.

After learning about how healthy barley is for your body, I had to find more ways to include it in my recipes. It is loaded with fiber, protein and essential nutrients so I find that I stay full for a long time when I eat it. I love its mild flavor and chewy texture. It was only natural that I include it in a soup recipe.

Curried Vegetable Barley Soup

Curried Vegetable Barley Soup is based on a traditional recipe but is enhanced with pearled barley and Indian spices to make a healthy and tasty soup.

My Curried Vegetable Barley Soup recipe is based on the traditional recipe but is enhanced with pearled barley and spices. The barley is boiled in the broth so it absorbs flavor as well as water. I use my favorite vegetables, cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes, all chopped into bite sized pieces. The broth is flavored with a homemade curry powder mixture made with coriander, cumin, turmeric, chile powder, fenugreek and fennel. To save time I use spices that are already ground rather than grinding them fresh. The spice mixture adds a combination of rich, exotic flavor with a tiny bit of heat. To make the soup even healthier than it already is, I add a cup of chopped kale during the last steps to add color and texture.

This Curried Vegetable Barley Soup is so full of vegetables and flavor that I serve it simply with a toasted buttered naan on the side. My husband likes to dip the bread into the soup to soak up every last bit of flavor. This is one of his favorite soups. It is delicious.

Who does not like mashed potatoes? They are a favorite item at my house because their creamy, smooth texture is so satisfying. My family, specifically, my son, thinks they should be served every day at dinner. Unfortunately for him, I like to serve different vegetables every day to keep us healthy and our dinners from becoming routine. My husband, on the other hand, considers a Malayali dish called Potato and Tomato Vindaloo to be comfort food. I think he could eat this creamy potato dish every day.

Mashed Potato Vindaloo

Mashed Potatoes Vindaloo a fusion of western comfort food and Indian spices to create a delicious vegetarian dish that is full of flavor.

To compromise between traditional American mashed potatoes and the south Indian version, I am bringing them together into one dish that both of them like, called Mashed Potatoes Vindaloo.

Both recipes start out the same by boiling peeled potatoes and mashing them. After that, the recipes diverge.

The “goodies” as I call them are made by seasoning oil with cumin and chiles and then cooking the vegetables in it. Since this is my recipe and I love eating as many vegetables as possible, I add liberal amounts of onion, garlic and tomato to the pan. When they are tender, I add more spices and some water. As the tomato breaks down, a creamy broth is made.

When mashing the potatoes, I do not try to make them smooth. I like to leave some chunks to give the final dish some texture. Simply add the potatoes to the “goodies” and mix well. The potatoes will absorb the color and flavor of the broth. Let this cook for a minute so the flavors have a chance to combine before serving.

Mashed Potatoes Vindaloo is a tasty side dish that can be served with any entrée. It is delicious the next day wrapped in a hot chapati like a burrito. My husband even takes them to work for lunch.

Okra is very popular in Indian cuisine. In fact, it is my husband’s favorite vegetable. I considered that odd because I had never eaten okra before I met him. After I tasted okra in his mother’s Sambar recipe and a few other dishes, I was hooked. If okra is cooked properly, it is delicious!

In the region surrounding the Mediterranean, okra is often cooked with tomatoes and spices. This inspired me to create a recipe for Coriander Spiced Okra that combined Indian spices with the Mediterranean style of cooking.

I use whole okra in this recipe so I don’t have to spend time slicing them into small pieces. I simply trim off the heads. Having made this dish a few times, I find it tastes best when using farm fresh, tender okra that are available in the summer rather than the larger ones that tend to be tough.

Coriander Spiced Okra

Coriander Spiced Okra uses whole okra that are cooked in a coriander scented tomato sauce with onion for a quick and easy recipe inspired by Mediterranean cuisine.

The okras are cooked in a simple sauce that is based on sautéed onions and diced tomatoes, using canned tomatoes to save time. The sauce is seasoned with the flavor of crushed coriander seeds which bring a lemony essence to the recipe. When the okras are done, I augment the flavor with lemon zest and juice.

Coriander Spiced Okra is a perfect accompaniment to any meal; it is great with meat or chicken as well as a vegetarian meal. It is ready in less than 20 minutes and very easy to make. Enjoy!