4 weeknights of dinner

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3

We know you don’t need us to plan your weekends for you. Weekends are time to have an elaborate home-made breakfast and lunch during the day and then party or dinner-out with friends in the evening!

Now, weeknights are entirely different story. After a hectic day at work, we come home tired, only to be asked the dreaded question, “What’s for dinner, Mom?”

A friend suggested that we help with planning the weeknights' menu. She said there are numerous websites that offer quick recipes, but none that would plan the week.

So here we are, with our segment, ‘Four Weeknights of Dinner’.  In this segment we plan the four weeknights of dinner- Mon, Tues, Wed and Thu, for you.
However, we need your help with this segment. Just by the virtue of being a mother, we are qualified chefs! And we know that when we are tired and our kids are hungry, we don’t have a choice but to whip something up and that too real fast!! And for such very special occasion, we all have at least four quick and healthy recipes tucked away. We want those!!! Simple, easy, quick and healthy recipes from regular moms. Correction. From very qualified expert chefs because we believe that’s what regular moms are.

So email us four recipes that are your original, improvised over the years, customized to your kid’s taste. Nothing fried and definitely balanced- carbs, protein, greens! If you do, you’ll be our chef for the week! So lets' all share our quick fixes..

Our email: desideewar@gmail.com 


 Just For Navaratri....

Kala Chana with Sushma Varma


Kala Chana: 3 cups
Water: 6 cups
Black cardamom: 3
Bay leaves: 3
Cloves: 6
Cumin seeds: 1 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon sticks: 1 1/2 in
Onions: 1 1/2 medium sized
Tomatoes: 3 small sized
Ginger: 1 1/2 in
Garlic: 6 cloves
Green Chilies: 3 small sized

Powder masalas- Coriander pwd, Garam masala, Cumin pwd, Anardana pwd, Red chilli pwd- all 3 tsp each.

Steps to make

1. Make Onion-Tomatoes-Ginger-Garlic-Green Chilies paste in a blender. Our out into a bowl.

2. Put 1/2 cup water into the blender and whisk the water around to collect more paste. Pour this water into a bowl and add all the powder masala like coriander, garam masala, cumin pwd, anardana pwd and red chilli pwd. Mix well.

2. In a pressure cooker,
+ 3 tsp oil
+ all whole masalas- cumin, black cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamom sticks crushed
+ paste from step 1.
Roast really well until all water evaporates
+ paste from step 2
Roast really well until oil separates
+ soaked kala chana
Roast really well for 10 mins
+salt to taste
Pressure cook for 50 mins, high at first, on medium after the first whistle.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and roasted whole red chilies.

Serve with Pooris and sliced onions and green chilies.


Sooji Halwa wuth Thenmozhi Chelladurai


Sooji - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
cardamom - 4 cloves
Golden raisins - 10( depends on the preference) Cashew nuts - 10 or more Ghee Pineapple flavor - 2ml/1 teaspoon Yellow/Orange color - 1 pinch

Steps to make it

1. In a kadai pour 3-4 tablespoons of ghee.
2. Add the sooji into it and roast it for 5 mins. Be cautious not to burn the sooji, so please do it in the medium flame.
3. Then shift the sooji to a plate and let it cool down.
4. In a separate kadai add 1 tablespoon ghee and roast cashewnuts, raisins and cardamom.
5. after it is turned brown, add 2 cups of water and add the color and pineapple flavor. Let the water come to boiling point.
6. After the water bubbles, add the sooji by stirring it . you can turn the flame low to not to leave any lumps.
7. Then close the kadai for 2 minutes and let sooji cook. you will be able to make sure that the sooji has been already cooked as it leaves no water and becomes dry.
8.Then add one spoon of ghee on top of it and add the sugar and mix it well.
9.Then keep stirring it until the sooji is not sticky. May be 10 minutes.
10.Finally add 1 spoon ghee and turn off the stove.

Garnish with crushed cardamoms.



Visit the desi shoppe @ desideewar for beautiful designer Anarkali Suits! This Navaratri wear something different!

Ankle-length Designer Anarkali! With Chooridar and Dupatta! Free Shipping Anywhere in the US and up to $25 rebate towards re-fitting!

 Four Weeknights of Dinner....with Mary Jacob

(Mary Jacob is a mother to three kids, one in each- Elementary, Middle and High School. And if that doesn't keep her busy enough, she also helps run their own business, myQBook. She knows all about planning her day well- including the meals, especially on the weeknights)


Monday Menu:


Stuffed Okra Fried served with Roti, Toor Dal and White Rice.

    Ingredients: 1/2 lb Okra, 1 tbsp Mango pwd, 1/2 tsp each of Ginger pwd, Cumin pwd, Chili pwd and Turmeric or each to taste, 2 tbsp Corn flour or Corn flour starch placed in a plastic bag, Salt to taste, Oil to fry.

    Preparation: (You could do this part over the weekend to save time)

    Wash and trim Okra (just top) and slit half way from center along its length leaving 1/4 " from top and bottom. Dry well.

    Mix all powder in a few drops of oil. Leave mixture to rest for 1-2 hours if possible. This is the stuffing for the Okra.


    Put stuffing in the okra slit. Put the Okras in the plastic bag with corn flour and shake the bag till the corn covers okras evenly.

    Deep fry in branches until okra is brown and slightly crisp.

    Tip: Warm in oven before serving at 350 F if its going to be consumed later.

    Serve with Roti, Toor Dal and White Rice.



    Wednesday Menu:


    Balti Chicken served with any bread of your kids' choice- let them pick. Suggest Pita pockets or flat Sandwich bread to mix it up. It's going be fusion theme tonight.


      2 1/2 - 3 lbs Chicken- boneless skinless thigh pcs- cut into small pcs;

      2-3 tbsp oil,

       2 medium Onions- sliced,

      3 medium Tomatoes- sliced,

      1-2 inches Cinnamon sticks,

      large black Cardamom pods,

      5-6 Peppercorn,

      1/2 tsp Cumin seeds,

      1 tsp Ginger- finely cut,

      1 tsp Garlic- pulp it up,

      1 tsp Garam masala,

      1 tsp Chili pwd,

      3-4 tbsp Yogurt.

      Salt to taste.

      For garnish, you'll need 3-4 tbsp lemon juice and coriander leaves.


      In Oil,

      + Onions- fry till golden brown

      + Tomatoes- fry

      + all dry ingredients and Ginger Garlic paste

      Lower heat, roast till oil separates.

      + Chicken pcs

      Mix well.


      Mix well.

      Lower heat. Keep for 20-30 minutes, covered.

      Garnish before serving.


Tuesday Menu:


Bhaigan in Coconut Milk served with Parathas/ Naans.

    (Serves 10 to 14 people- adjust accordingly) (Mary's version inspired from a friend's recipe)

    Ingredients: 14 small Egg plants cut into halves or quarters lengthwise, 1 Onion, 2 Tomatoes, 1 tsp Chili pwd, 1-2 tsp Coriander pwd, 1/2 tsp Turmeric pwd, ½ to 1 tsp Garam masala, 1 tsp each of Ginger and Garlic made into a paste, 1 whole can of Coconut milk.


    In 2 Tbsp oil,

    + chopped onions- roast till brown

    + ginger garlic paste

    + tomatoes pcs

    + dry powders

    + salt to taste

    Fry for 3-4 minutes till the mixture leaves oil

    + Coconut milk

    + same amount of Water as the Coconut milk (1 can)

    + Egg plants

    Boil. Once it's boiling, lower the flame to medium. Cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes till the desired consistency is reached.


    Thursday Menu:


    Whole Masoor Dal and Pachadi, served with white Rice or Roti and Pickles. Lets' go truly healthy before the weekend parties.

      Whole Masoor Dal:


      1 cup whole Masoor dal (soaked in water), 3 cups Water, salt, Chilli pwd, Haldi- all to taste.


      Add all the above in a Pressure cooker and cook on high. After the 1st whistle, lower flame to medium, keep for 10 mins.

      Prepare tadka of cumin seeds, whole red chillies (2-3), 3-4 pods of minced garlic and well brown it all in oil.

      If dal is of desired consistently, put tarka.


      Pachadi - a yogurt dish.



      1 whole can of Yogurt (32 oz); 1 medium onion, 5-6 in Ginger, 10-12 pods Garlic, 5-6 small Green chillies- all chopped finely in a food processor; 1 tsp mustard seeds, Salt to taste



      In oil,

      + 1 tsp mustard seeds

      + above finely chopped Onion, Garglic, Ginger, Green chilli mix

      Fry till well roasted.

      Cool it down

      + Yogurt

      + 2-3 tsp of black mustard seeds coarsely ground

      + Salt to taste

Four Weeknights of dinner....with Show Me The Curry

(Anuja Balasubramanian and Hetal Jannu of 'Show Me The Curry', an online cooking show that teaches its viewers cooking delicious Indian cuisine in a step by step manner, pointed us to these four wonderful quick and easy recipes for our 'Four Weeknights of Dinner' segment.)

(Video Credit: Show Me The Curry)


Monday Menu: Sweet Potato Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 4


      Sweet Potatoes – 1 lb (peeled and diced)
Oil – 1 Tbsp
Salt – 3/4 tsp or to taste
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Whole Dry Red Chilies – 3 or to taste
Granny Smith (Green) Apple – 1 (peeled and shredded)
Green Chili – 1 or to taste (finely chopped)
Cilantro – 5 sprigs (finely chopped)
Roasted Peanuts – 2-3 Tbsp (roughly chopped)
Lime Juice – to taste
Salt – to taste
Iceberg Lettuce – 1 head


 1. Heat Oil in a medium pan (skillet) with a lid.
2. Add diced Sweet Potatoes and Salt and mix through.
3. Cover and cook until sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy (approx 8 mins)
4. In the meantime, dry roast Cumin Seeds and Dry Red Chilies until fragrant.
5. Allow the cumin seeds and chilies to cool before roughly grinding them.
6. Sprinkle the spice powder over the cooked sweet potatoes and mix through.
7. In a mixing bowl, mix together shredded Green Apples, Cilantro, Green Chili, Peanuts, Salt and Lime Juice.
8. Cut Lettuce head through the middle so that lettuce “bowls” can be removed.
9. In each lettuce bowl, add a small amount of sweet potatoes and top with a little shredded apple mixture.
10. Roll the lettuce leaf into a burrito type wrap and enjoy immediately.

Wednesday Menu: Desi Mac


Elbow Macaroni – 2 cups
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – few
Garlic – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Mushrooms – 8 oz, sliced thick
Onion – 1 med., chopped
Red & Green Bell Pepper – 1/2 each, chopped
Salt – to taste
Black Pepper – to taste
Red Chili Flakes – to taste
Soy Sauce – 3 tbsp
White Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Tomato Ketchup – 3 tbsp
Spinach – 1 cup, chopped
Cilantro – 10 sprigs, finely chopped
Shredded Cheese – 1.5 cups
Bread Crumbs – as needed
Butter – for topping
Cooking spray


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cook the Macaroni as per package instructions for al dente with a little salt. Drain and keep aside.
3. Heat a medium size pan on medium heat.
4. Add in the Oil. Allow it to heat up.
5. Add in the Mustard Seeds and allow them to pop.
6. Add in the Curry Leaves and the chopped Garlic. Cook for 30 seconds.
7. Add in the Mushrooms and a little salt (to speedup the cooking process) and turn up the heat/flame for this step.
8. The Mushrooms will let water go and then the water needs to evaporate.
9. Once that is done, add in the Onions and the bellpeppers.
10. Sprinkle some Black Pepper and red Chili Flakes and saute fr 3 minutes.
11. Add in the sauces – White Vinegar, Soy Sauce and Ketchup, saute for 1-2 minutes.
12. Add in Cilantro/Coriander Leaves and Spinach and give it a quick toss.
13. Lightly grease the casserole dish that is to be used for baking with Cooking Spray and keep aside.
14. Add the Macaroni to the vegetables and give it a good mix.
15. Turn the stove off and add in the Shredded Cheese.
16. Mix well and mix very fast and pour the macaroni into the casserole.
17. Level the mixture and sprinkle some Bread Crumbs on top with a few blobs of Butter.
18. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F and then broil for 2 minutes to give it a golden color on top.
19. Serve hot with some garlic bread and/or some soup. Serves 8.


1. If Elbow Macaroni is not available, use any pasta.
2. Add in chopped Green Chilies for an additional kick.
3. Drizzle a little oil on the Macaroni after boiling and draining it. It will prevent it from sticking and clumping together.

Tuesday Menu: Tortilla Soup

Oil – 2 tbsp
Corn Tortillas – 2, chopped
Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves – small bunch, finely chopped
Jalapenos – to taste, finely chopped
Onion – 1/2, chopped
Diced Tomatoes – 14oz can
Cumin Powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Bay Leaf – 1
Stock/Broth – 2, 14oz can (vegetable, chicken or beef)
Mushrooms – 3 large, chopped
Zucchini – 1/4, sliced
Carrots – 1, matchsticks
Monterey Jack Cheese – garnish
Avocado – garnish
Tortilla Chips – garnish

1. In a open pot, heat the Oil on medium heat.
2. Once hot, add in the Garlic, Onions, Tortillas, Jalapenos and the Cilantro. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add in Diced Tomatoes, Bay Leaf and Cumin Powder. Cook for 2-3 minutes after it comes to a boil.
4. Add in Salt and Stock, mix well.
5. Add in the vegetables – Carrots, Zucchini and Mushrooms.
6. Add in Red Chili Powder, mix well, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
7. Garnish bowls with some Cheese and a slice of Avocado and some crushed Tortilla Chips.

- Serve with lime/lemon wedge for a little twist.

Thursday Menu: Quinoa Pulao

Prep Time: 30 mins soaking time
Cook Rime: 40 – 45 mins
Serves: 4-6


Quinoa – 2 cups
Canola Oil – 2 tbsp
Bay Leaf – 1
Cinnamon Stick – 1″ piece
Black Cardamom – 1
Green Cardamom – 2
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper – 4 or to taste, roughly crushed
Cloves – 4, roughly crushed
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Onions – 1/2 medium, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tbsp, minced
Garlic – 1 tbsp, minced
Green Chilies – to taste, finely chopped
Corn – 1 cup
Green Peas – 1 cup
Carrots – 1 cup
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Water – 3 cups
Lemon/Lime Juice – to taste




1. Wash Quinoa and soak in ample water for 30 minutes.
2. Drain all water and set aside.
3. In a pan, heat Oil on medium heat.
4. Drop in Whole Spices – Bay Leaf, Cinnamon Stick, Black and Green Cardamom. Cook for 30 seconds.
5. Add in Black Pepper, Cloves and Cumin Seeds. Let them sizzle.
6. Add Turmeric Powder and Onions. Cook for 1 minute.
7. Add Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilies, mix and cook till Onions get translucent.
8. Add Quinoa and roast 5 minutes.
9. Add Vegetables, Garam Masala, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder and Salt. Mix
10. Pour in Water and add Lemon Juice.
11. Mix and let the water come to boil.
12. Reduce flame to low, cover with tight lid and cook for 30 minutes.
13. Remove lid, fluff Quinoa gently, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.
14. Garnish with Cilantro and serve.



Four Weeknights of dinner....with Geeta Sule 

(Geeta is a mother of two teenage daughters, both of who love good gourmet food. So of course, Geeta cooks delicacies that is pleasing to the most refined palate. Here are her quick fixes for the week)

(Photo Credit: Neha Sule)

Monday Menu:

Shrimp Taco:

Shrimp- peeled and deveined shrimp (frozen or fresh) (about 20-25 medium shrimp pieces for 4 people)
Soft Tacos (flour tortillas or any tortillas of choice, about 8 to 10)
Sour Cream
Guacamole salsa (either readymade or recipe below)
Mexican grated cheese (packet)
Shredded Lettuce
Mayo (1/2 cup)

For Marinade- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (1 tsp from can) or chilli pepper, minced garlic, black pepper, cilantro, lime juice, taco seasoning, cumin pwd and salt.


  1. Marinade the shrimp for 1/2 hour.
    2. Either grill or cook the shrimp in oil on each side for 3 mins till it turns orange.
    3. Warm the tortilla. Spread spicy mayo (mayo mixed with 1 tsp of adobo sauce in 1/2 cup mayo- or to taste. Put shrimp (3-4 per taco). Add lettuce, salsa, cheese, sour cream. Fold and serve.


  2. Guacamole salsa: Take 2 ripe avacados, peel. Cut and remove the pit. Mash it. Put in half chopped tomatoes, half red onion chopped, 1 jalapenos finaly dices, chopped cilantro, lemon jiuce and salt and pepper.



Wednesday Menu:

Fettuccine Alfredo:

Dry Fettuccine pasta (1/2 packet), Milk, Cream, Grated parmesan, Butter, Olive oil

In pan,
+ 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
+ 2 tbsp butter
Let melt.

+ Mixture of cream (1/2 pint) and 1 1/2 cup milk
+ Salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, dry parsley, pinch of nutmeg
simmer on low
+ Grated parmesan- 1/2 cup or more till sauce thickens
simmer on low
+ Boiled and drained pasta ( make sure pasta is boiled with salt in water)
Toss together.
Garnish with parmesan cheese.
Serve with garlic bread. 

Thursday Menu:

Dal Methi (Serve with hot steamed rice, raita and papad


Ingredients: Toor dal (1 cup), fresh methi leaves (1 small bunch), 1 small onion, 2 small tomatoes, 1 green chili, hing, red chili pwd, garlic and mustard seeds.

Cook Toor dal for 3-4 whistles with-
1 small chopped onion, 1 green chili, hing, haldi, 1 tsp oil.

In a pot,
+ Oil
+ Hing
+ Mustard seeds
+ Chopped green chilies
+ finely chopped garlic
+ 1 medium onion- finely chopped
+ 1 1/2 cup fresh methi leaves- washed and chopped
+ Chopped tomatoes- 2 small
+ Haldi

+ Salt
+ Pinch of sugar
+ Cooked dal
+ Little water to get the desired consistency
Boi for 8-10 mins till all flavors marry together
+ Tarka (1 tsp ghee + hing + mustard + garlic + red chili pwd)
Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
Serve with Steamed Rice, Raita and Papad.


Tuesday Menu:

Chicken Curry: (Serve with Roti or Naan)

Ingredients: Cut Chicken pieces (1 lb for 4 people), 2 medium Onions, 3 medium Tomatoes, 4 Cloves, 1 small piece Cinnamon, 1 Tbsp Coriander seeds, ½ tsp Fennel seeds, Coriander leaves, 2 Green Chilies and dry Masalas (1 tsp Haldi, 1 tsp Chili pwd, 1 tsp Jeera pwd, 1 tsp Garam Masala pwd – adjust to taste)


Marinate chicken pieces with ginger-garlic paste, salt

and turmeric pwd. 

In a pan,
+ 4 Tbsp Oil
+ Bay leaves (2-3)
+ Finely chopped onions
Brown it.
+ Masala (cut Tomatoes, 4 Cloves, small piece Cinnamon, 1 tbsp Coriander seed, 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds, small fresh Coriander leaves, 2 Green Chilies - all ground together)
Roast till oil separates on the sides.
+ Dry Masalas (Haldi, Chili pwd, Jeera pwd, Garam Masala pwd)
Roast again for 2 mins
+ marinated chicken pieces
Fry for 10 mins

+ 1 to 1/2 cup water
+ salt to taste
Cover and cook for 20-25 mins until chicken is tender and cooked.

Optional - 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned) – add in last 10 mins.
Garnish with fresh coriander.


4 Weeknights of dinner…………..with Rupal Mohan.

(Rupal Mohan is a doctor who runs her own clinic. They have two sons and parents living with them. Of course, quick and easy is the motto for weeknight dinners. Follow her this week and take the planning out of the equation – that’s half the work done.)


Monday Menu:

Salmon fillets, Mushroom sautéed Mushrooms and sautéed Spinach

For 3 fillets of salmon, add 3 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste , 1 tsp minced garlic, and 2 tsp lemon juice.

Put them in an aluminum foil tray, cover it with foil and put on the grill at 400 for 8-10 mins, turning once.

In 2 small pans, add some minced garlic to oil. Put mushrooms in one and spinach in the other. Add salt to taste, and cook on medium. For mushrooms-5 mins and for spinach- 10 mins.

Wednesday Menu:

Chicken Moghlai. Serve with Brown Rice.

Ingredients- curry masala for Chicken Moghlai, chicken, grated ginger, yogurt and 2 tomatoes - large, puréed.

Recipe- In a pressure cooker, put 2 tbl oil, add chicken pieces, masala for moghlai chicken, ginger , yogurt and puréed tomatoes . Cook in pressure cooker for 1 whistle.

Serve with brown rice


Tuesday Menu:

Aloo Tamatar (Recipe credit- to Sushma Varma, her Mom)Serve with Roti, Dal of your choice and Rice.


Ingredients: 4 boiled aloo (potatoes), 3 small tamatar (tomatoes), sauf, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper and coriander leaves.

Recipe: In a pan, put 4 tbl oil, add sauf, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and black pepper (1 tsp each). Put the tomatoes cut into tiny pieces. Cook the tomatoes until it gets all mushy like a gravy. Put the potatoes cut into fairly small pieces. Roast well. Put salt to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves.


Thursday Menu:

Garden Pasta

Ingredients: Veggie rotini Pasta, mozzarella cheese, ready salad packet with carrots, olive oil, Italian seasonings (oregano leaves, parsley leaves, basil leaves).

Recipe: In a pan, put 2 tbl olive oil, add the Italian seasonings, add 2-3 cups of the ready salad with carrots. Put 1 ½ cup of boiled and drained rotini pasta. Put lot of mozzarella cheese and salt to taste.


Mar 17 2013

Four Weeknights of dinner.......with Shalini Verma

(Shalini Verma is a mother of two sons, 12 and 2, needless to say, she has quick versions of the most elaborate recipes ready to go for the weeknights)

Photo Credits: Photos by Raghav Verma


Monday Menu:
Pav Bhaji-

Things you need-
1. One Big Potato, 2-3 cauliflower, handful of spinach, handful mixed vegetables (frozen packet) and any other vegetable
2. Pav Bhaji masala
3. Two big tomatoes and 1 small can V8.
4. Onions, garlic, ginger- finely paste.
5. Bread rolls (pav)

What you do-
1. Boil all the vegetable in small amount of water in a pressure cooker. Turn off after first whistle.
2. In a pan,
+ Oil
+ Saute Onions and garlic and ginger till golden brown
+ Tomatoes. Roast till oil separates.
+ Mashed boiled vegetables
+ Put Pav Bhaji Masala- to taste
+ Can of V8
+ 1/2 cup water
+ Salt to taste
Cover and let cook for 10 mins or until excess liquid evaporates.
Garnish with butter, onions and coriander- finely chopped.
Serve with buttered and lightly browned Pav (bread rolls)

Double click to upload a photo

Wednesday Menu:
What you need:
1. Ready refrigerated Ravioli (Costco bought)
2. Chopped Onions and Garlic
3. Canned Tomato Puree
4. One cup Milk
5. Parmesan

What you do-
In a pan,
+ Olive Oil
+ Onions and garlic
+ Tomato puree
+ Oregano, Basil and Parsley seasonings
+ Milk
+ Boiled ravioli
Put Parmesan Cheese on top.


Tues Menu:
Grilled Paneer Vegetables
Sides: Roasted Corn and Garlic Bread

What you need-
1. Paneer- 1 block
2. Cucumbers
3. Whole mini pepper
4. Onions
5. Marinade - 1/2 cup Dahi, 1/4 tsp Haldi, 1tsp coriander pwd, 2 tsp Kasturi Methi, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala.

What you do-
1. Marinate paneer and other vegetable with the above marinade for 2 hrs.
2. In oven, pre-heat oven to 'Broil' high setting. Once ready, put
everything in a greased oven-proof platter and place in the oven. Keep a watch, turn sides once brown. Remove when totally grilled.
3. Serve with roasted corn and garlic bread.

Double click to upload a photo

Thurs Menu;
Picnic in the Backyard- with Bhindi Subzi, Aloo Methi and Veg Pulao along with Poori, Aachar and cucumbers to complete the meal.
For Aloo methi,
In a pan,
+ Oil
+ Jeera
+ Hing
+ Corianer pwd, Haldi pwd, Red Chilli pwd- all to taste
+ 2 Large Potatoes, cut into small pieces
Roast a little
+ A bunch of fresh methi leaves
Cover and Cook.

For Quick Bhindi Subzi.
In a pan,
+ Oil
+ Ajwain, Hing, Saunf Pwd, Methi pwd
+ Haldi, Red Chilli and Coriander Pwd - all to taste
+ Bhindi cut into small pieces
Cook open for 15 mins.

For quick Rice Pulao-
In a pan,
+ Oil
+ Sauf, Jeera - whole
+ Paneer cubes
+ Frozen vegetables from the pack
+ Coriander pwd, Garam masala pwd, Red Chilli Pwd
+ 1 Cup Rice, pre-soaked
+ 2 Cups water
Cook partially covered on medium once the water is boiling.


Mar 06 2013:

Four Weeknights of Dinner ......with Bijal Haria 

Bijal Haria is a mother of two. And here are her recipes that her kids love! Make sure you get the grocery done during the weekend, so you're ready for the week!

Monday Menu:
Pesto Panini
with Tomato soup

  • 1  loaf  of ciabatta, halved horizontally and soft interior removed
  • 1/2 cup store bought pesto
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips
  • 1/4 pound fontina cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula or basil, optional
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat or a panini press.
  2. Spread one cut side of ciabatta with the pesto and the other with olive oil. Layer one side of ciabatta with  red pepper, and arugula or basil,
  3. top with cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining bread.
  4. Brush top and bottom of the sandwich with olive oil. Place on grill pan/panini maker. Grill 3 to 4 minutes until sandwich is golden and cheese is melted.
  5. Cut sandwich into quarters. Serve immediately.

 Tuesday Menu:

Spaghetti with tomatoes, black olives, garlic and feta cheese
Side dish - garlic bread
Starter - Tomato soup

  1. 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 3), seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  2. 1/2 cup Kalamata or other black olives, pitted
  3. 1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
  4. 3 tablespoons drained capers
  5. 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  8. 3/4 pound spaghetti
  9. 6 tablespoons olive oil
  10. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  1. In a large glass, combine the tomatoes, olives, feta, capers, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cooked pasta and the garlic oil to the tomato mixture and toss.

Wednesday Menu:

Spinach Mushroom Enchilada's
Side Dish - Mexican Rice

  • 2 whole Jalapenos Diced
  • 2 cups Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin, Divided
  • 10 ounces, weight Fresh Spinach
  • 1 cup Cream (recommended) Or Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 16 ounces, weight Sour Cream
  • ½ teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 ounces, weight Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 12 whole Corn Tortillas
  • 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • Fresh Chopped Cilantro, To Taste (for Filling And For Garnish)
Saute mushroom slices and jalapenos in butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until they are tender. Add 1 teaspoon cumin and the spinach, stir and heat until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small saucepan, mix cream and cornstarch. Add sour cream, 1 teaspoon cumin, chili powder, salt, red pepper and cilantro. Cook and stir on medium high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring continually. Remove from the heat and add Monterrey Jack cheese, stir until melted.
Prepare corn tortillas by microwaving them for 15/20 seconds inside a paper towel. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and put 1/2 cup of the sour cream mixture in the bottom. Fill tortillas with spinach/mushroom mixture, roll them up and place them seam side down in the dish. Cover enchiladas with the rest of the sour cream sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and garnish with cilantro.
Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.


Thursday Menu:

Cheese/Veggie Pizza
Side dish - Salad

1 can Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust
1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 cup pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (6 oz)
1/2  cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
  • Heat oven to 400°F. Grease large dark or nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough on cookie sheet. Press out dough to 15x10-inch rectangle.
  • Spread pizza sauce evenly over, sprinkle with cheeses,  basil and oregano leaves.
  • Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
  • You can add any vegetables to the pizza if you like. ( mushrooms, Olives, Onions, Green Peppers, etc)



Four Weeknights of Dinner....with Sonal Kulshrestha

Photo Credits: Photos by Raashi & Rohun Kulshrestha

Monday Menu: Arhar Dal Soup, Green Nutty Salad and Cheese n Toast

If you have partied hard all weekend,  chances are you didn’t have a good healthy portion of arhar (toor) dal , the most staple of our desi food. Chances are also that at the mere mention of arhar dal, your kids wrinkle up their face. And since we’re talking of dinner for kids, here’s a way of presenting arhar dal to them-

Arhar Dal Soup:
Put 1 cup pre-soaked arhar dal in a pressure cooker with water in the 1:4 ratio. Put haldi and salt to taste. Boil for 5 minutes after the first whistle.
When you open the cooker, blend the dal with a hand blender.

Serve in soup bowls. Garnish with lemon/ lime juice and crushed black pepper.  That’s proteins!

Green Nutty Salad:
Take ready salad packet. Put ready sliced almonds, walnuts, dried cranberry, raisins or whatever nuts your kids love and are not allergic to. Put apple, pear and banana cut into small pieces. Put fat free Italian Zesty salad dressing. That takes care of the greens for the kids. Your kids don’t like salad? Make it with them, make it into a fun game where they get to put the fruits, nuts and dressing of their choice. Salad is an acquired taste with kids and acquire it they will. With time. Leafy greens with Vitamins, Minerals, Iron, Fiber - Check.

Cheese n Toast:
Toast wheat bread lightly and spread white Philadelphia cream cheese on it. That takes care of grains, fiber and calcium.

(Add Macaroni Cheese for kids too)

Tuesday Menu: Milky Veggie Fettucine.

1. What you need:

Hand full of fresh green beans
Hand full of fresh carrots
Hand full of fresh mushroom
2 cups fettucine pasta
1 cup milk
4 oz Parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic
1 small pack of Laughing Cow Cheese
Italian seasonings- Basil leaves, Oregano leaves, Parsley leaves

2. What you do-

In a pot, boil water. Add fettucine to boiling water. Let it boil on medium for 10 mins.
Drain the water using a colander. Rinse with cold water.
In a pan, add the following in the order mentioned
+ Olive oil
+ Carrots (finely chopped)
+ Green beans (finely chopped)
+ Mushroom (already cut ones)
+ Garlic (finely chopped)
+ Italian seasonings- Basil leaves, Oregano leaves, Parsley leaves
+ Milk
(Let the mix boil a little to condense the milk)
+ Cheese- Parmesan & Laughing Cow
+ Boiled and drained Pasta.
+ Salt to taste
Serves 3.
Carbs, Protein, Minerals, Vitamins, Fiber, Greens- Check.

Wednesday Menu: Bean Parathas

1. What You Need-

1 can kidney beans
Taco seasonings
Wheat flour dough
Sour Cream
Salsa Verde (aka green pouches from Taco Bell).

2. What to do-

In a pan, add the following-
+ Olive oil
+ Kidney beans (Washed and rinsed well from a can)
+ Salt to taste
Mash it really well
+ Taco seasoning
Fill in and make parathas.
Makes 3 parathas
Serve with Sour Cream and Salsa Verde.
Carbs, Protein, Minerals, Vitamins, Fiber- Check.


Thursday Menu: Paneer Sanwiches

1. What you need

Rectagular slabs of Paneer
1 small packet of any fresh Salad
Wheat Bread (again, wean your kids off of white bread, if you haven’t already)
Cheese slices
Any condiments of your choice like Relish, Mustard, etc.

2. What to do-

In a pan lightly greased with butter, toast the bread and then the Paneer slabs.
Salt and Black Pepper

Layer as follows-
Wheat bread- lightly toasted
+ Cheese slice
+ Paneer slab (lightly browned)
+ Salad leaves
+ Onion slice
+ Tomato slice
+ Mustard/ Ketchup/ Relish to taste
+ Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Carbs, Protein, Minerals, Vitamins, Fiber- Check.

We love feedbacks!