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.


October 31, 2016

Egg Curry with Bell Pepper and Tomatoes

Cooking is more than a hobby for me; it's a way of life. This blog started out as my portable cookbook that contained recipes of dishes that my sister and I grew up eating. I've learned so much over the years, cooking alongside my mother; teaching me the ways of Indian cooking. 

However, as I grew up my tastes changed a bit. I was vegetarian when I first moved here. I slowly started trying new dishes and cuisines and now I'm half vegetarian. I eat eggs, chicken and fish every so often. However, I still stay away from meats like pork and beef. 

One of the dishes I really like is egg curry but my mom doesn't eat eggs so it's up to me to figure it out. I've watched YouTube videos and looked for recipes online. I've tested a few but didn't like the taste so much. A few months, I found a recipe at Archana's Kitchen called Quick and Simple Egg Curry Recipe. I did find her recipe to be simple enough and kind of quick. 

I made a couple changes for my taste, such as adding more vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms or spinach to the recipe. Check out the recipe below:

Yields: Serves 6 (2 egg halves and gravy per serving)

- 6 eggs (boiled, peeled, and cut into half vertically)
- 3 vine tomatoes, pureed
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2" pieces and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes
- 12 oz baby Bella mushrooms, chopped into 1/2" pieces (optional)
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder (or Dhanjeera powder)
- 1 tsp Garam Masala powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt (adjust as per your taste)
- a small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Ingredients to be ground to a paste
- 1 large onion, chopped 
- 1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 green chilies (or 1/2 tsp of chili paste)

Heat oil in a medium saucepan on low-medium heat. Add the paste made with onion, ginger, garlic, and chilies to the pan. Saute for a few minutes or until the onion mixture turns translucent in color. Next add turmeric powder, sugar, garam masala powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder. Mix until combined well. I added mushrooms next and let them cook a little before I added bell pepper.  Cook for a few minutes while stirring intermittently. Next, add the tomato puree, salt, and eggs. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer the egg and vegetable mixture for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Lift the cover and check the salt and spice levels; adjust them to your taste. If you want the gravy to be a bit thinner, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Turn off the stove and sprinkle fresh coriander on the curry and serve with your meal. 

This curry goes well with plain white or brown rice, jeera rice, quinoa, or your favorite flatbread. Whenever I make this curry, I make two halves and some gravy and a couple of roti for lunch. It's healthy and filling. I would definitely recommend this recipe to anyone who likes eating eggs and wants to try something different. 

Quick Tips
- If wine or plum tomatoes are not readily available, you can buy a crushed tomatoes can. 
- Other vegetables you can add are yellow or orange bell peppers
- You can add evaporated milk for a creamier taste. 

October 28, 2016

Have a Sweet Diwali with Indian Bread Pudding (Double Ka Meetha)

From our family to yours...
Peace, Prosperity, and Good Fortune...May they all be with you in the coming year. 

I am thankful for my loving family as well as my friends (including my extended family at Open Door Toastmasters). They've supported and helped me accomplish a lot in my personal and professional life this year. 

Double Ka Meetha (Indian Bread Sweet)

This Diwali I wanted to show my mom that I have been paying attention to all that she's taught me in cooking and make an Indian sweet that she's only made once since we moved here. The dessert I made is called Double Ka Meetha. 

When I first heard the name, I thought it meant twice the sweetness because I was thinking in English and Urdu. 

Double Ka Meetha actually means bread sweet because in Urdu "Double Roti" means bread. This dessert is from Hyderabad, Telangana. It is a popular dessert in Hyderabad cuisine and served at special occasions such as weddings and parties. It is similar to Shahi Tukra. 

I know you are all dying to find out how to make this dessert, so let's get to it. 

Total cooking time (including prep work): About 2-2.5 hours

- 20 oz White Bread
- 2 sticks of butter or 16 Tbsp Unsalted butter*
- 2 (14oz) Condensed milk cans
- 1/4 cup Almonds or Cashews, chopped into quarters
- 10 Cardamom pods, seeded and powdered
- 1 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Khoya or khoya powder (also known as Milk-Mava powder) - optional

1) The day before making the dessert, open the bread packet and arrange the slices on a wide plate to allow them to air dry.

2) Set the toaster to medium setting and toast the slices. Afterwards, spread butter on both sides and toast to golden brown on a griddle (shown below). 

3) Cut all the slices diagonally into 4 pieces...


Next, add 1/2 tbsp of butter to an non-stick skillet/pan and then transfer all the toasted breads pieces into it.

4) Next, transfer the condensed milk into a measuring cup and stir in the milk. Slowly pour this mixture on top and around the bread in the skillet/pan. 

Then add the khoya powder as well as the cardamom powder and mix well; making sure all the bread pieces are coated with the liquid.  Hint: Add another 1/4 cup milk if the mixture is dry.  

5) Transfer the contents into a greased tray or dish, garnish with toasted nuts and serve hot (shown above).

Although this dessert takes time to make, it is sure to please your guests. We served this dessert on Diwali and all of our friends and family enjoyed it. 

~~~Diwali Mubarak~~~

October 10, 2016

Celebrating Navratri on the Eve of Dusshera!

October 1st marked the beginning of the Navratri celebration, honoring the Hindu deity Durga, the destroyer of demons. Navratri means nine nights. During these nine nights and ten days, various forms or avatars of Durga are worshiped. The tenth day is Dusshera (October 11th). 

In the South (specifically in  Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu), one of the traditions of this festival is a display of toys and figurines called Bommalu Koluvu (Court of Toys) in one's home (as shown above). Our display includes divine presence of Goddesses of Laxmi, Saraswati, and Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Buddha, as well as representations of music and dance with the dancing dolls and musical players. 

The significance of this festival is that good triumphs over evil. This holiday is a great way to renew one's self or start over. A way to get rid of evil or obstacles in one's way and head in a positive direction. I've been stuck in a rut at work the past couple weeks and last week I just decided to tackle those obstacles so I can see a clear path for the new quarter. I realized that by destroying my "demons" or "negative thoughts" I can accomplish a lot. What does this holiday mean to you?


October 6, 2016

Aloo Methi with Besan (Chickpea Flour)

When I'm making eggs or pasta, I love throwing some thyme or rosemary into my dish. It adds freshness and flavor. It's the same with Indian cooking. We love using mint, coriander, and methi in our dishes. The most common one is coriander; we chop up the leaves and sprinkle them on every one of our vegetable and rice dishes. 

Another one is methi also known as Fenugreek. This herb can be used fresh or dry and the seeds can be used as a spice. You can even use the fresh leaves or the sprouts as a vegetable in a dish. 

My sister's friend gave us a few bunches of this herb so we couldn't wait to make something with it. Better to use it while it's fresh! We decided to make Aloo Methi Besan which translates to Potato and Fenugreek leaves with Chickpea flour. Let's see how it's done below. 

Potato and Fenugreek Leaves with Chickpea Flour

Serving Size: 3-4
- 2 bunches of Methi (also known as Fenugreek) leaves, washed and chopped finely through soft stems
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed to 1cm size
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder (or per your taste)
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup Fine Besan flour (Chickpea flour) 
- 1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
- Salt per your taste

Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil (on low-medium heat) in a medium saucepan.  Next, add mustard and cumin seeds. When they start to splutter, add garlic and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until they are golden brown. Now add the potatoes and sprinkle a pinch of salt and allow it cook under closed lid for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring intermittently. When the potatoes are soft, add methi leaves and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. 

Remove the lid and continue allowing it to cook more until the excess moisture evaporates and the oil comes out. Now add chili powder and stir for another minute. Next add Besan flour, a pinch of salt, and one more tablespoon of vegetable oil. Stir and fry for 2 to 3 minutes under closed lid. When you smell the fried Besan aroma, switch off the heat and remove from stove. 

Serve with your favorite rice, flatbread or enjoy on its own. I love eating this with yogurt rice and/or roti. How do you incorporate fresh herbs or spices in your cooking? Please share.  

Quick Tip
- If Methi or Fenugreek leaves are not readily available, any leafy green that does relaease too much water when cooked is fine. You can try fresh coriander or kale as well. They will have a different taste. 
- Besan (Chickpea flour) can be found in most Indian grocery stores. Some Whole Foods stores have it listed as Garbanzo bean flour.