Ghee Recipes

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Chia Seed Blueberry Tea Drink Recipe Recipe

This morning, Lulu's 13-year-old teenage sister Mimi and I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and prepared a drink so we could have enough energy before our yoga routine. The drink was very refreshing, delicious, rich in antioxidants and made with natural ingredients such as chia seeds, fresh blueberries, oranges, green tea, ghee and maple syrup.  

This special concoction was Mimi's idea, and I adore it. It doesn't require too much sweetener thanks to the blueberries and chia seeds, which add another dimension to the tea drink. Isn't it wonderful to start the day in a healthy way? Plus, it's gluten free!


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Idli Recipe with Coconut Chutney Recipe

Idlis (also spelled idly or iddly) are South Indian savory steamed rice cakes, very similar to the Vietnamese equivalent called bánh bò. The sponge cakes are made with urad dal, rice and water. The idli batter is fermented and steamed, which creates mini air bubbles. I usually serve them with sambar (a toor dal vegetable soup) and coconut chutney.

In India, this traditional dish is usually served for breakfast or as a snack. I think they also make perfect appetizers when we have dinner parties. I love that they're bite-size, which means they won’t interrupt conversation too much. I usually serve them in Chinese porcelain soup spoons that I place in a circle around a large serving bowl of sambar with several chutneys on the side. It’s a great way to start a party!


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How to Cook Basmati Rice Recipe

How to Cook Basmati Rice

04.15.10 by Jackie

Ah, basmati rice. I don't think there is a food that better represents the similarities and differences of Indian Subcontinent and East Asian cultures. Rice is the staple starch in both of these Asian regions, but the preparation couldn't be more different. In the Far East, sticky jasmine rice is typically prepared with every meal. Chopsticks are the utensil of choice, which helps explain the popularity of rice that can stay clumped together on the journey from the bowl to the mouth.

By contrast, the quality of cooked basmati rice is judged primarily by how separate the grains remain. Traditionally, people of the subcontinent eat with their hands, and the various dals and kormas do a great job of creating cohesion.

Preparing basmati rice at home is not nearly as challenging as it may seem, but as is the case with many simple dishes, precision and care are required. Like pasta, if it's cooked past "al dente", basmati rice will become mushy.

I didn't have much experience with basmati rice until I got married. After more than five years, I have not only learned how to make it, I have come to love it. In our home, we make both sticky Asian jasmine rice and Indian basmati rice everyday to satisfy the different palates. We typically eat it with dal, but the girls love to have basmati rice with a little butter and sumac. Sumac is a common Middle Eastern spice and has a deep reddish, purple color. You can see it sprinkled over the rice in the photos.

If you don't have well cooked basmati rice on a regular basis, you don't know what you're missing. I know that for a long time I didn't!


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Toor Dal Recipe

Toor Dal

03.21.10 by Jackie

Toor dal is a staple dish in Indian cuisine. What I like the most about this dish is that no soaking is required. Like kali dal, the lentil dish is finished with baghar, which is a layer of melted ghee with fried darkened garlic cloves.

Toor dal is a great protein complement for a vegetarian diet when paired with a starch such as rice. Dal is a great way to bring a taste of India into your home.


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Chana Milk Halwa (Besan Burfi) Recipe

Chana Milk Halwa (Besan Burfi)

02.23.10 by Jackie

If you're familiar with French pâtes de fruit or fudge, you'll want to try the Indian / Middle Eastern equivalent,  called halwa. Halwa literally means "sweet" in Arabic. It can be made with different ingredients such as carrots, pumpkin, yams, beets, semolina and many types of beans, lentils or nuts.

Daddy (my father-in-law) had a craving for some chana dal halwa, so my mother-in-law made several batches this weekend. To the chana dal, she added roasted cashew nuts (Kaju in Urdu) for flavor and texture. This particular recipe also calls for a large quantity of clarified butter, or gheeGhee is popular in Indian cuisine and can be found at almost any Indian grocery store. This dessert is definitely not low fat or low calorie, but the taste and texture are extraordinary. Store-bought halwa cannot compare.

We made a huge batch and stored them in tins in the refrigerator. The girls placed the sweet candy in cellophane gift bags and tied a pretty bow around them to give away to their friends and teachers. Whether  or not you decide to share the dessert with others, you should definitely find time to make some. Your efforts will definitely be rewarded.


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