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Family luncheon- desi with a fall touch this thanksgiving week

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Pumpkin Cheese Ball 

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Directions for Pumpkin Cheese Ball

With a mixer, blend 16 ounces room-temperature cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, 3 tablespoons minced onion, 2 tablespoons salsa, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno. Scoop onto plastic wrap and use the wrap to form the mixture into a 5-inch pumpkin-shaped ball; chill at least 2 hours. To serve, unwrap, roll in crushed nacho-flavored tortilla chips or shredded cheddar cheese and press a bell pepper stem into the top. 

Paneer Makhani 


  • Paneer (cottage cheese) cut into cubes - 500 grams
  • Butter - 5 tablespoons
  • Oil - 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaves  - 2
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cinnamon  - 2 one-inch
  • Coriander powder - 2 tablespoons
  • Onion paste or sliced - 1 medium
  • Ginger paste -1 - 2 teaspoons
  • Garlic paste - 2 teaspoons
  • Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Tomatoes chopped and pureed - 5-6 medium
  • Salt - to taste
  • Kasoori methi crushed - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh cream - 2 tablespoons


Step 1 -  Heat three tablespoons butter with one teaspoon oil in a kadai. Add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, red chilies and half of the coriander powder. Saute for half a minute.

Step 2 - Add onion paste  and stir-fry for thirty seconds and add ginger paste and garlic paste. Cook for another thirty seconds. Add coriander powder, red chili powder and tomatoes. Cook on high heat till oil leaves the masala.

Step 3 - Add the remaining butter to the pan, cook the pureed mixture for two minutes. Add paneer pieces and salt. Add half a cup of water. Cook covered on low heat for five minutes.

Step 4 - Sprinkle kastoori methi, add garam maala and salt and mix in lightly. Remove from heat and mix in cream. Serve hot, garnished with remaining chopped coriander leaves.

Bharwan Baingan

Uniquely flavored hot and sour stuffed eggplant - makes 12

Ingredients for the filling of Baingan
  • 1/2 cup gram flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mango powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt to taste 
  • Rinse the eggplants and make a slit down the middle vertically down towards the stem, making sure you don’t go all the way down and not slicing it down to two halves.  

  • In a small bowl combine all the filling ingredients together and stuff the slit eggplants with the filling mixture and set aside. Heat oil at medium high heat in a sauté pan; add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Allow them to crackle. 

  • Gradually add the filled eggplants to the pan and stir gently to toss it in the oil. Stir in the coriander powder, cumin powder, chili powder, asafoetida, salt and garam masala powder.

  • Sprinkle around 3 tablespoons of water on top of the brinjals; turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the eggplants are soft and tender and roasted on all sides.

  • Turn off heat and transfer the roasted eggplants to a serving platter. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot. 

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Jeera Rice


      • Basmati rice - 2 cups
      • Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoons
      • Ghee - 1 1/2 tablespoons
      • Few - Bay leaf, Black cardamom, Cinnamon stick, cloves
      • 1 teaspoon - Garam masala
      • Salt to taste


Step 1 - Wash rice thoroughly and soak in water for half an hour. Drain.
Step 2 - Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon.When cumin seeds crackle, add the rice. Add salt to taste.
Step 3 - Stir till ghee coats every grain of rice and it looks glossy. Add three cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stir once. Reduce heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, otherwise water will boil over.

Step 4 - Rice will be done when holes appear on the surface and water has been completely absorbed. Fork the rice out onto a serving dish. This will separate each grain. Serve hot with any curry. 

Pumpkin Mousse

What You Need
cups  cold fat-free milk
pkg.  (1.5 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding
can  (15 oz.) pumpkin
tsp.  pumpkin pie spice
cup  thawed COOL WHIP LITE or COOL WHIP Sugar Free Whipped Topping

Make It

BEAT milk and pudding mix in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Blend in pumpkin and spice.



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