Tag Archives: lunch

Puerto Rican Bean Soup

Another recipe passed on to me by my friend Pavani

Goya small red beans
Goya Sofrito about 3-4 tablespoons
One envelope of Sazon (with culantro y achote)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic (minced fine)
10 green olives stuffed with pimento
about dozen capers
1 can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of oregano

Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and fry till lightly brown. Then  add olives, capers and sofrito, cook for about 2 minutes. Add sazon, tomato sauce and water.  Add can of beans or cooked dry beans. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes.



Russian cabbage soup”

1 cup cabbage, chopped in to thin and long strings
1 cup potatoes, diced
1/2 cup carrots, cut into 1″ sticks
1 small onion, sliced into rounds
2 cans vegetable broth or water
1-2 tbsp. butter or canola oil
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup beets, cut into 1″ sticks
salt and pepper
1 pint sour cream
cilantro and basil, finely chopped
Fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (optional)

Heat vegetable broth on a different stove.

In a heavy pan melt the butter. Turn the heat to low. Add oinions and saute for 5 mins. Then, add tomatoes and cook for another 5 mins. Add carrots and saute. Add beets and cook for longer. Then, add potatoes. Add salt. Add the hot vegetable broth or water and boil. Then, lower the heat and simmer. When the vegetables are tender, turn the heat off. Season with pepper to taste.

Remove from the heat before the beets lose their color.

Serve warm with sour cream and a little chopped cilantro and basil.

(Recipe from Pav)

Palak Paneer

Spinach chopped
1 Pack Fried Paneer or fresh home made paneer
2 Small Onion chopped (long)
4-5 Red Chilli’s
4-5 Green Chilli’s
2-3 Small Tomatoes
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan and fry cumin, red chilli, green chilli chopped onion till golden brown and add ginger garlic paste and fry for 5-10min. Then add Spinach and fry for 10min. Grind this with tomatoes and make a paste.
Heat 1tsp of oil in pan and fry paneer for 5-10min and add the paste to this and let it cook for 15-20min. Add salt to taste.

See also:

(Contributed by Sahi)

Aloo, mutter paneer


1-2 medium potatoes (peel and cut into 1 in pieces)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1-2 tomatoes (chopped)
1 cup peas
1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
a little piece of ginger (chopped)
1 jalapeno (optional)
1-2 tbsp oil
cilantro to garnish
1-2 tbsp yogurt or cream
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt or as needed
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red pepper powder or paprika
turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
cashews (optional)

To prepare the paneer, knead fresh paneer with some all purpose flour and lay out as a rectangular slab about 1/4 in thick on a flat surface and cover with a kitchen towel. Set a heavy weight over it for 1-2 hrs so the slab becomes firm. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Heat 1-2 cups of oil in a pan. Fry the paneer pieces in the oil and set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan on the stove. Add turmeric and some cumin seeds. Fry until slightly brown.  Add chopped onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeno. Cook on low flame till lightly brown. Add the potatoes, peas and chopped tomatoes. Add salt, garam masala. cumin powder, and red pepper and mix well. Add a glass of water, cover and cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes or until cooked. Reduce to low heat, add the fried paneer and mix well. Add yogurt (or cream) and mix well. Cook for another five minutes and remove from stove.
Garnish with chopped spinach and ghee/butter fried cashews.

Enjoy with naan, roti  or biryani.

See also:


Sambhar is a staple dish in South India. It is eaten with rice, is a key side dish with idli, dosa, and vada. As with any dish, there are innumerable variations to the same dish. Over the years, I have evolved my sambhar recipe as well and this is how I make it.

1/2 cup toor dal (yellow split lentils)
1 onion (cut into large pieces) or peeled pearl onions
1-2 carrots (cut into 1 in strips)
1/4 bottle gourd (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 tomato (cut into pieces)
1-2 drumsticks (optional)
A little white radish (cut into pieces or rings)
some green beans (8-10) cut into 1 in pieces
2-3 stalks of chopped cilantro
A few curry leaves
1-2 dry red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
A little tamarind (fresh de-seeded or paste)
Touch of asafoetida
Touch of turmeric powder
1-2 tsp oil (vegetable or peanut oil)
1-2 tsp MTR sambhar powder
1 tsp salt

Boil all the vegetables until cooked in a dish with some water or in a pressure cooker. Add one cup water and cook the dal until cooked. In a large pan, add some oil and fry the seasoning – cumin seeds, mustard seeds, red chillies with some asafoetida and turmeric powder. When the mustard seeds start crackling add the curry leaves and mix. Add the boiled vegetables with any remaining water. Mash the cooked dal into almost a paste and add to the mix. Soak some fresh tamarind (a small handful)  in water and squeeze the juice out and add to the mix. Add some fresh (or dry) grated coconut, salt to taste and sambhar powder. Continue boiling for 15-20 minutes until all the ingredients mix well and the aromas penetrate. Garnish with some fresh cilantro.

Best when eaten hot with some rice or with idli, dosa or vada.

Vegetarian Chilli

Soups… Soups.. Soups can’t get enough of them!

This recipe came to me after passing through several people and several variations. And naturally I had my own improvisations to it.

1/2 onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves chopped
1 bell pepper cubed into small pieces
1 zucchini cubed into small pieces
2 large tomatoes chopped
1 cup of kidney beans
3-4 table spoons olive oil
1 minced jalapeno
1 tsp salt or as needed
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin powder
a few crushed pepper flakes if desired (optional)

Soak dry kidney beans overnight in some water. Precook kidney beans preferably in a pressure cooker for speed.

In a large pot add oil and saute onion, and garlic until lightly brown. Add bell pepper, jalapeno and zucchini  and toss. Add tomatoes, salt to taste, cumin powder, paprika and crushed pepper flakes. Mix well. Finally add cooked kidney beans. Cook on low flame for two hours. Makes 4 servings.

Serve with some sour cream or yogurt and jalapeno.

(Recipe passed on to me by Pavani)

Lebanese Lentil Soup

I constantly crave spicy food. I stock up my kitchen with myriads of peppers and other spices to add that extra touch of oh! to my food.

Yet there are times when just the right mix of ingredients yields a delicious result that needs no spices to ramp it  up another notch! Something simple yet so delicious.

This recipe is concocted from different sources — friends and from tasting it in a Lebanese restaurant

2 cup of lentils
1 bunch of spinach (or swiss chard) chopped
1/2 turnip (or potato) cubed into small squared
1 tsp salt or as desired
1 small onion or 1/2 an onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic minced
Touch of black pepper
1-2 tsp olive oil

Soak the lentils overnight. In a large pot saute onions and garlic in the oil until lightly brown. Toss in the spinach, and turnip and mix well. Add the lentils, salt and pepper along with  4-5 cups of water and lemon juice. My quick recipe calls for cooking this in a pressure cooker until the first whistle. Stop sooner if desired. If cooking in a pot cook in low flame until cooked to the desired consistency. Servings: 4-5.