The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


July 16, 2010

Go "Green" with Garden Poha

The teacher (pertaining to myself) becomes the student today since I have searched through the internet to look for different meanings for explaining what Poha is. Poha is another name for flattened rice. It is widely known all over South Asia (which does not only refer to South Indians); it includes Nepal and Bangladesh as well.

Did you know that when flattened rice is mixed with any liquid, it puffs up four times thicker than a normal rice grain. I don't know how true that is but according to Wiki it does. I will put this to the test and get back to you. Also, did you know unlike rice grains, poha can be consumed raw? That's right, so just go ahead and pop some into your mouth. The only thing is that it doesn't have a lot of taste until you mix something with it like milk, jaggery (sugarcane sugar) or other ingredients. In that case, let's add some taste to it.

You in the mood to do some cookin'? I can't hear ya. In light of the hot weather we have been experiencing in the East Coast lately, we are going to make more dishes that are not so heavy and chill out.

So gear up and get into the kitchen. We are cookin' up Garden Poha. Then you can enjoy your freshly made dish with a glass of Mojito or Lemonade (keeping with the green theme).

Here are the ingredients to get you started and I know what you are thinking, the list below looks lengthy but once you see the picture,  you'll see it's not that serious.

***Please note: French Cut beans missing in picture but it is included in the recipe.

• 3 cups Poha (flattened rice), thick variety
• 2/3 cups Carrots & peas (frozen)
• 1 large Onion, chopped finely
• ½ cup French Cut Green beans (frozen)
• 1 medium Potato, peeled and chopped finely (keep in water)
• 3 to 4 Green chilies, split into half
• ½ cup Peanuts
• 1 Lime or 1-2 tbsp of Lime juice  (as desired)
• ½ to ¾ tbsp Salt (as needed)
• 2-3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
• 1 heaped tsp Turmeric powder
• 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
• 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (jeera)
• Handful of Coriander / cilantro, chopped

Now, let's get down to cooking with all these ingredients:

1. Wash poha in plenty of water in a big bowl and drain the water completely using a strainer or sieve. Allow the poha to soak for atleast 10 minutes.

2. In a wide skillet, heat oil and fry peanuts on medium heat until golden brown. Then add mustard, cumin seeds, and green chilies. When they crackle add onion, potato (drain water) and frozen beans. Next, add a pinch of salt and close the lid for 3-5 min until potato and beans are soft.

3. Add the remaining salt and turmeric and mix. Next, add poha and mix well. Cook on medium to low heat with closed lid for another 5 min.

4. Remove from stove and add lemon juice, carrots & peas and mix. Keep the lid closed for 5-6 minutes for the frozen vegetables to be cooked by the warm food.

5. Garnish it with cilantro and grated coconut (optional) and serve hot. This recipe makes 3-4 servings so invite your close friends over. Kick off those heels or sneakers, whatever you have on and have some Poha.

If you don't mind, I'm going to have some right now and I'll see you next time, right here at my blog for the next summer creation. Until then, keep those mouths hungry and I'll make sure to fill you up Real Good.

***Also check out Bread Poha @ Honey, What's Cooking? adapted from Sure to please the taste buds.***

July 14, 2010

Green Mango Chutney

Before I begin this new post, I must apologize to our fans for being MIA for a couple of weeks. We've been busy cooking and perfecting some interesting dishes for you to try over this hot sultry summer. And of course a lot of these dishes are cooked with "green" ingredients to keep you healthy.

Now I know most of you know about the mango pickles that are found at the Indian stores by different brands such as Mother's, Priya, or Ruchika. They all make pickles with various ingredients such as garlic, gooseberry, and achar. The most common and popular ingredient is green mango because it tastes great raw but when mixed with other spices, it tastes even better. The chutney I would like to share with you is different; and by different I mean it's not pickled in oil and chili powder like the ones you find at the Indian stores.

If you are like me, you love dabbling with recipes that are somethin' to talk about. Try your luck with this one: Green Mango Chutney.


- Firm Green Mango....................... 1 medium size
- Fresh grated coconut.................... ½ cup
- Brown sugar / Jaggery.................. 1 tbsp
- Red chili powder.......................... 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder......................... ½ tsp
- Salt.............................................. 1 tsp or as needed

Also, like most "karis" that we make, chutneys get their extra little kick from the seasoning or the Taalimpu that we add at the end. You may also recognize the word kari I just used because Alton Brown did an episode about it in one of his seasons. It means curry in English. I just thought I would throw in some of my Food Network knowledge for all you Hardcore Foodies.

Anyways, so get all your seasonings ingredients together too (hint: a Taalimpu or Chaunk box is very handy):

- Asafoetida powder...................... 1 pinch
- Mustard seeds............................. 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds................................ 1 tsp
- Curry leaves................................  5-6 leaves
- Vegetable Oil............................... 1 tbsp


1. Peel the mango and grate it all.

2. When using frozen grated coconut, remove the required amount and allow it to come to room temperature or microwave for few seconds.

3. In a blender add all the chutney ingredients and blend them to get uniform mixture (do not over blend to a fine paste). Try to get it to the consistency as illustrated in the picture below.

4. Taste it to adjust the salt and brown sugar to meet the desired taste. Note: if the mango is sweet, you could use ½ tsp of citric acid to bring in the sour taste.

5. Transfer the contents into a bowl.

6. Heat the oil for seasoning and when hot, add mustard and jeera and when they begin to crackle, add asafoetida and curry leaves. Mix well and add the seasoning to the chutney and mix well.

7. Serve the chutney with hot white rice. It is normally eaten by mixing the chutney into the rice with a splash of oil for added taste.