FOOD- what's the occasion

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It is time for Superbowl Sunday and if you're hosting a party at your place, we have help for you from a professional! 

Sonal Gupta, a well-known food blogger, shares her best for the occasion with us to ensure your guests enjoy the game because you made it so much more than just about the game ..

(Read more about our chef here at the very bottom)

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Chana Dal – 1/2 cup

Bread crumbs – 3 to 4 tbsp

Ginger – 1 small piece

Green Chili – 1 small

Coriander / Cilantro leaves – 5 twigs with leaves, washed

Oil & Spices

Vegetable Oil – for deep frying

Cumin powder – 1 tsp

Red Chili powder – 1/4 tsp

Dry Mango powder / Amchoor –   1/2 tsp. Use 1 tsp lemon juice in case amchoor is not available.

Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp

Fennel powder – 1/4 tsp, optional

Salt to taste 


Preparing Chana Dal

  1. Wash the dal till water runs clear. Soak it in 3/4 cup of water for 3 to 4 hrs.
  2. Drain the water completely through a sieve and let it sit in sieve for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the food processor and add dal to it. Ground it coarsely. We are looking for a grainy texture and not the batter kind paste.
  4. Set it aside in the big mixing bowl.

Preparing and Shaping Kebabs

  1. Add ginger, chili and Corinader leaves to the food processor and blitz it few times to chop them fine.
  2. Add this to the ground Chana dal in the big mixing bowl. Also add 3 tbsp bread crumbs and all the spices as mentioned above. Bring the mixture together with hands and it is ready if when gathered in the palm and pressed, it retains the fist shape. If required, you may add more bread crumbs to bind it loosely.
  3. Now dip your hands in the cold water and pinch a quarter size portion from the mixture, like a size of a small lemon.
  4. Roll it tight into a smooth ball. Make sure that there are no cracks in it, or else it will scatter all over while frying.
  5. Make 18-20 mini balls of approximately 1 to 1&1/2 inch diameter, and keep them aside on a plate. I recommend rolling them in advance.

Frying the Kebabs

  1. Heat oil in the wok or Kadhai. Once it is hot enough, reduce the flame to medium.
  2. Add 5 to 6 kebabs at a time to the wok. Do not over crowd it or else the oil temperature will drop and the kebabs will absorb lot of oil.
  3. Fry the kebabs till they are golden in color. Make sure that the temperature is medium or else, they will cook from outside and remain raw from inside. Each lot will take about 3-4 minutes. Also make sure that you give a gap between each lot for oil to heat up again. If you will add too soon, the cold oil will spoil the texture.

Serving Suggestion

Serve these hot with Green Cilantro Chutney and Tamarind Chutney.

I had a great time making these cocktail kebabs in my Indian-American Kitchen. I am sure you would enjoy these too!

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Kamal Kakdi & Masoor Shami Kebabs

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Medium


Lotus stem – 1 cup. I used frozen but you may use fresh. See method to prep the fresh lotus stems.

Sabut Masoor or Black Lentils – 1/2 cupcooked till soft. You may pressure cook it or sauce pan cook it.
Onions – 3 tbsp, chopped fine.

Ginger – 1/2 tsp

Garlic – 1/2 tsp

Coriander/Cilantro leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped fine.

Green chili – 1 small, chopped fine.

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Red chili powder – 1/4 tsp

Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

Oil – 1tsp + 1/2 tbsp 


Prepping the Kamal Kakdi or Lotus Root 

If using fresh, wash, peel, wash again thoroughly since it has lot of mud. Cut these into thin slices. Pressure cook it with very little water. After 1st whistle, pressure cook on simmer for 10 minutes till really soft and mushy. Drain the water. 

If using frozen lotus stem, then pressure cook it similarly as mentioned above. Drain the water and set aside.

Prepping the onions

Take the small sauté pan. Heat 1 tsp oil in it. Add onions, ginge and garlic to it. Lower the flame. Sauté and cook the onions till they turn golden brown. It will take around 5-7 minutes. Add to the grinder and make paste with 1 tsp water. Set aside.

Prepping the kebabs mix

1. Take the mixing bowl. Add boiled lotus stems and boiled masoor/lentils (no water) to the bowl. 

2. Take the potato masher and mash these together till they become a pulp with no big pieces. 

3. Now add onion paste & other ingredients as mentioned above. Mix well to make a dough-ish consistency. If it is too loose, then add a crumbled slice of multigrain or whole wheat bread. Bring together in dough.

Making Kebabs

1. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom non stick or hard anodized pan. Reduce the heat.

2. Wet your hands. Pinch around 2 tbsp of doughish batter, shape in flat patties. Place this in the hot pan. Finish the batter likewise. The mixture should give around 8 to 10 patties depending upon the size you are making.

3. Cook these on lower medium flame for 5 minutes. Take the flipping spatula and gently flip to another side. These are very delicate so handle carefully. Cook on the other side for another 5-6 minutes till they are set and firm from outside.

4. The shame kebabs are ready. You may serve these on the bed of fresh salad of lettuce, onions, Raddish, cilantro leaves, lemon slices, sprouts and pomogrenate seeds. Serve along the side of Green cilantro chutney. A great combination. These are perfect as mini sliders too. Sandwich between small whole wheat or multigrain buns or dinner rolls and a full meal is ready.

Note – The texture of these kebabs is really wonderful and true to its original texture. The shami kebabs are supposed to be crispy from outside with melt in the mouth inside. It’s just amazing. 

Caramelized Mushrooms Spicy Flatbread

Serves : 2

Ingredients :

Note : If you plan to serve it as a main course, double the quantity.

Naan Bread : 1. Oblong shape preferred.

Butter : 1 tsp

Button mushrooms : 50 gms or 1/2 cup, sliced thin.

Onions : 1 tbsp

Parmesan shredded : 1 tbsp

Mozarella or Romano shredded : 1 tbsp

Red chili flakes : 1/2 tsp

Salt and Black pepper to taste

Parsley : a pinch 

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C / 425F.

  2. Heat butter in pan. Toss onions and sliced mushrooms in the butter and sauté till mushrooms are slightly golden on the edges. Add salt and black pepper to taste and toss well.

  3. Put the Naan bread on the baking tray. Spread the caramelized mushrooms and onion mixture on the naan bread evenly.

  4. Sprinkle Parmesan and Mozarella or Romano cheese evenly. Top with red chili flakes.

  5. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes till it is crispy and golden at the edges.

  6. Take it out. Slice and serve hot!

Enjoy with your family and friends !  

Jal Jeera / Mint Cooler

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy


Mint leaves – 3/4 cup, washed, picked and packed

Cilantro / coriander leaves – 1 cup

Ginger – a small piece

Lemon juice – 4 tbsp

Dry Mango powder – 1&1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1&1/2 tsp, roasted light 

Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp

Black pepper corns – 1/2 tsp 

Black rock salt – 1 tsp or to taste 

Water – 3 tbsp


1. Take the grinder and make a fine powder of cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper corns. Take it out and add dry mango powder and rock salt to the spice mix. Mix well. 

2. Take the blender and add mint leaves, cilantro leaves and the ground spice mix along with lemon juice and ginger and 3 tbsp water to it. Blitz till you receive a fine paste. 

3. Divide this paste into 3-4 small 6-8 oz glass. Top with chilled water and ice cubes and check for salt and lemon and adjust accordingly. 

4. The Jal Jeera is ready to be served.


1. You may make the paste in bigger quantity and freeze in ice cubes. Use as required. It is good in refrigerator for 4-5 days, without loosing flavors.

2. Some people add tamarind pulp too in this drink. It is an option if you want to add.

3. You may top with 1/2 tsp of boondi (fried gram flour balls) for that extra crunch. It is fried so don’t over indulge.  

Smokey Veg Nacho Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy



Onions – 1/2 cup, finely chopped

Garlic – 2 cloves large, minced

Tomatoes – 3 large (approx 400gms), puréed

Jalapeño – 1

Corn kernels – 1 cup

Black beans – 1 cup, canned or cooked (optional)

Salsa – 1/2 cup, home made or market bought

Coriander / Cilantro leaves – 1/2 cup packed, roughly chopped

Water or Vegetable Low Sodium Broth – 4 cups

Nacho or Taco Chips – 1 cup, crushed lightly

Oils & Spices

Oil – 1 tbsp

Cumin powder – 1 tsp

Oregano – 1/2 tsp

Fancy Paprika – 1 tsp. You may use Degi Mirch or Kashmiri Mirch

Salt to taste


Any Mexican Cheese like Monterey or Queso. May use feta also. Sliced Jalapeño, Chopped Cilantro/Coriander leaves, Lime wedges, Tabasco sauce, finely chopped onions and tomatoes, avocado pieces.  


  1. Grilling & Prepping the Jalapeño – Grill the jalapeño on direct low flame, till it is slightly charred. Refer to the picture towards the end. Put it on the chopping board. Slit it open and chop in small pieces. You may keep the seeds like I did, for more smokey and spicy flavors. You may also remove the seeds to keep it milder.
  2. Now heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add onions and garlic to it and sauté on medium flame for 3-4 minutes to sweat the onions till they are slightly pink.
  3. Add corns and black beans to the pan. Sauté for another minute. Add pureed tomatoes, grilled jalapeño, Coriander/cilantro leaves, salsa, all the spices as mentioned above and the water or vegetable broth to the pan. Stir.
  4. Bring it to a boil. Lower the flame to lower medium and cover with lid. Let simmer like that for good 15-17 minutes.
  5. Smokey Veg Taco Soup is ready to be served.

Serving Suggestion

This soup is served at the restaurants with a load of roughly crushed crispy taco chips. A good dash of lime juice, some cheese, jalapeño slices, finely chopped onions and tomatoes and cilantro leaves are added. Just dig in and enjoy a bowl full of winter goodness.


You may easily make it in a pressure cooker or a slow cooker or even crock pot. For pressure cooker, after adding all the ingredients, cook for 1&1/2 whistle. Remove from the flame. Let the pressure escape and then open the lid, stir and serve warm. 

Classic Coffee Layered Bundt Cake

Here is how I made it, which is originally adapted from Martha Stewart’s Aunt Patty’s Coffee Cake.Click on the link (in blue) for original recipe. Here is my version!

 Makes : 1 big Bundt Cake OR 2 medium loaf cakes OR 4 small loaf cakes

Kitchen Equipments Required :Loaf pan or cake pan of your choice. I used a big Bundt pan, chopping board & knife or food processor, 1 small bowl, 1 medium bowl, 1 big bowl, electric egg beater, spatula, whisk, fork.

Ingredients :

All purpose flour : 2 cups. You may use whole wheat flour or 50/50 of both.
Baking soda : 1 tsp
Baking powder : 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder : 1/2 tsp
All spice powder : 1/2 tsp
Instant coffee powder : 1 tsp
Coco powder, unsweetened : 1 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Butter, unsalted and at room temperature : 8 tbsp or 1 stick
Sugar : 3/4 cup
Eggs : 2 large, at room temperature
Yogurt, plain and thick : 1 cup at room temperature
Orange juice : 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract : 1 tsp

Filling :
Granulated sugar : 3 tbsp
Instant coffee : 1 tbsp
Cocoa powder, unsweetened : 1 tbsp
Walnuts : 1/4 cup chopped roughly
Pistachios : 1/4 cup chopped roughly
Almonds : 1/4 cup chopped roughly
Cinnamon powder : 1 tsp

All spice : 1 tsp. you may use the combination of clove, ginger and nutmeg powder. 

To grease the pan : butter and flour

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan or pan of your choice.

  2. In a small bowl, make the filling. Mix together the sugar, instant coffee, cocoa, cinnamon powder, all spice powder and chopped nuts.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, instant coffee powder, coco powder, cinnamon powder & all spice powder.

  4. Using an electric egg beater, cream together the butter and sugar in the big bowl. Add one egg at a time, beating until just combined.

  5. Beat in one third of the flour mixture, then half of the yogurt, then another third of the flour mixture. Beat in the remainder of the yogurt and the last third of the flour mixture.

  6. Add the vanilla essence & orange juice and mix for another minute or two. Make sure that no dry ingredient are left so scrape well from all the sides.

  7. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle half of the filling on top.

  8. Pour in the remaining batter (save 1/4 cup to top later) and sprinkle the remaining filling on top of that.

  9. Now pour the saved 1/4 cup of the batter.

  10. Take a spoon and level the batter. If the filling is showing up at some places, then it’s fine. Let it be!

  11. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake, comes out clean.

  12. Keep it in the pan for 15-20 minutes and then gently flip it on a cooling rack. Tap it on the top to loosen it. If it still doesn’t come out. Flip it again back to normal position. Run a plastic knife on the edges to loosen it. The flip and tap again to take it out. I used my gorgeousSimpleware Flow Board to rest my cake and then drizzled it with weak sugar frosting! All the drop went through the pores and I had a mess free working counter.


About Sonal Gupta as she puts it-

I am Sonal - a mother, a wife, a foodie, a blogger and a recipe developer. I blog tested and tried vegetarian recipes (eggs included), from and am a proud founder of Diabetes Friendly Thursdays. I am also a free lance writer for lifestyle and food, and have been published. As I say - "Come Discover the Vegetarian in you while I cook, click and entertain", defines who I am and what my blog is about. An amateur food photographer and stylist who enjoys the good kind a mess, every bit in my kitchen!
Stay Happy! Eat Happy!

FOOD- what's the occasion

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