Indian Recipes

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Carrot Halwa Cheesecake Recipe Recipe

Carrot Halwa Cheesecake Recipe

06.01.10 by Jackie

I just received a huge package of Walkers shortbread cookies (thanks so much Iza), and before my little munchkin goes through the entire package (she's already had 24 individual packets!), I wanted to prepare a sweet treat with them. I also had leftover carrot (gajar) halwa from a batch I made over Memorial Day weekend, so it made sense to combine the two items. After much deliberation, I decided to make an Indian-inspired cheesecake using the shortbread rounds. I mixed the halwa with cream cheese and cardamom syrup, then softened it with whipped cream and used the mixture as the filling. For the crust, I crushed several shortbread cookies and mixed them with butter.

The Indian flavors weren't overpowering at all. In fact they were actually quite subtle, and paired perfectly with the buttery flavor and mild sweetness of the shortbread crust. The dessert was a big hit,and has inspired me to try using both Indian sweets and shortbread in creative ways. Stay tuned!


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Chicken Kofta Recipe in Makhani Curry Recipe

Chicken kofta is not your average meatball. It's packed with Indian spices, garam masala and chiles. To top that off, in this recipe the kofta are drenched in a rich, creamy curried, tomato sauce made with tomato, onions, cashew nuts, lemon juice, ghee, cream and a few spices.

Seriously, what’s not to love? Any time you can say "meatball" and "cream sauce" in the same sentence, something delicious is probably going on. We often make this for dinner parties because it’s a little too rich to serve on a regular basis. Having said that, I find myself coming up with “special” occasions all the time as an excuse to make this dish. If you try it out yourself, I bet you will too!


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Vegetarian Palak Paneer Lasagna Recipe

Vegetarian Palak Paneer Lasagna

05.25.10 by Jackie

Palak paneer lasagna is the result of my desire to not waste food. We had some leftover palak paneer from our dinner party, and I thought it would be fun to experiment. I made an Indian-spiced béchamel sauce and combined it with the spinach. The mixture was then sandwiched between layers of pasta sheets. I decided not to add additional cheese since there was already cubes of paneer in the dish. Instead, I crushed herb crackers on top to create a crust.

I’ve found that the most unusual dishes are created when your desire to create something new is constrained by the realities of what you have in your pantry or fridge. This dish is a great example. The marriage of Indian ingredients with the pasta really worked well.


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Indian Dinner Party Menu Recipe

Indian Dinner Party Menu

05.24.10 by Jackie
We hosted an Indian classical music party over the weekend. The artist was Kankana Banerjee. If like me, you know nothing about Indian classical music, Ms. Banerjee is "one of the leading exponents of classical music in India". She is the recipient of the Kala Saraswati, Andhra Ratna Award which is one of the most prestigious awards from the Government of Andhra Pradesh (from smashits.com). My father-in-law admires her music very much, and we had the honor of listening to her perform. As I mentioned, I haven’t heard any Indian classical music before, so this was quite an experience for me. My little munchkin (my 5-year-old sister-in-law) on the other hand is an old pro; she is very fond of it and has been singing with her Daddy every evening in anticipation of the concert. I do however know food, and I thought it would be fun to share with you all the dishes that were served. You may not be hosting a music party at your home any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that these dishes can’t make a guest appearance at your dinner table!


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Indian Peanut Chutney Recipe Recipe

Indian Peanut Chutney Recipe

05.12.10 by Jackie

I served khichdi (Indian masoor dal rice) this evening for dinner. Instead of using the usual Indian yogurt sauce called raita, I made peanut sesame chutney, called "til chutney" in Urdu. It's a little time consuming but it pairs perfectly with the coral-colored lentils and rice. To make the sauce, peanuts and sesame seeds are ground into a fine powder. They provide richness to the sauce that is complemented by the sweet-acid flavor of tamarind and the kick of raw onions. Baghar is the finishing touch in this dish, as it is in a lot of Indian dishes.

This dish was passed down to me from my husband Lulu’s late grandmother. Everyone referred to her as Baji. She taught me several Indian recipes from the region of Hyderabad, and I have an entire notebook of her recipes that I have to get translated. I’ll post them here as I try them out, so stay tuned!


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