Meat Pulao (rice casserole) with leftovers and a Raita

an easy way to repurpose leftovers – Pulao (rice casserole) – quick and healthy



A couple of weeks ago I made a beef curry which was wonderfully delicious.

What was leftover was not enough to feed 3 people – the number of people in my household and so I repurposed it into a pulao (rice casserole). This was enough to happily feed 3 people and it was also a new dish from leftovers.

I like to cook this way and following are the instructions to make the rice.

I have several recipes for rice on the blog and as most of my recipes, these are suggestions and feel free to use what you have.


Saute an onion and a tsp. of cumin in a tsp of oil.  Cook for about five minutes and then add the leftover beef curry (or any curry you may have on hand).  Heat through and add frozen peas if you like.  Now add a cup of basmati rice…

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Technique: how to use tomatoes simply in a stew or curry

Today I want to talk technique – specifically something very simple that I learned from my mom. It is a time saver in the kitchen, especially for Indian cooking.

Often when people ask for starter recipes for Indian curries – I find myself telling them to saute onions, ginger and garlic – then add tomatoes …

This is where the technique comes in

When adding tomatoes to a stew/curry and you want to skip the step of chopping them and also peeling the skin – make an x as shown above.

Throw the tomatoes into the pot and cover for about 5 minutes.

After a few minutes, pull out the tomatoes and the skin will peel easily.​
Once you peel the tomato- add it back to the pot and it will easily crush with the back of a spoon.

When I was in cooking school- we were taught to achieve the same thing by putting the tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes. I like to do it in the manner above since it saves me a step and time. Always a welcome thing.

Hope you found this helpful.

Care to share any of your short cut techniques?  Would love to hear from you.
Until I cook again!

Simple Yellow Daal (lentils)

July 19th, 2017 – an update:

Yesterday I posted a picture of a simple bowl of lentils that I had as soup for lunch.

Many people asked for the recipe and so here it is.


I am surprised that I haven’t blogged the recipe for Lentils – maybe because they are so easy to make but let me remedy that.

There are many many lentils in Indian cuisine – some can be cooked in 20 minutes and others take much longer.

The following is mung daal – split yellow lentils, not to be confused with split yellow peas.

You will need:

A cup of lentils

1 tsp cumin seeds

a couple of dried red chilies (optional)

salt to taste

1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

1 tbs ghee, butter or oil

To make:

Add the lentils with two cups of water to a boil.  When it comes to a boil, you will see some foam – just skim it off a couple of times.  Now add the salt and turmeric. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the lentils for about 20 minutes or until soft.

In saute pan, heat the fat yo are using and add the cumin seeds and red chili if using.  Let the seeds sizzle for a couple of minutes and as soon as the lentils are cooked – add the hot fat with the cumin seeds to them – stir well and your lentils are ready.


Serve as is in a bowl like soup or have over boiled rice.

Until I cook again!

A Review of Dirt Candy in NYC


“You are going to pay $75/- to eat vegetables? You are crazy!” exclaimed my father when he learned that I am going to Dirt Candy for a special event on Canada Day.

“They are not just vegetables dad. They are cooked in a unique way – in ways we could never imagine.”

“They are still vegetables,” he responded, still questioning my decision.

Well, I don’t blame him. I had the exact same feeling when I first heard of Dirt Candy which is is located on the Lower East Side of NYC.

I went there for the first time last year and was impressed by the chef’s creativity. When I heard vegetarian restaurant, I thought pasta, salads and grilled vegetables – but Dirt Candy is not that. I didn’t write about it back then and so my memory is flawed but the two most memorable dishes were:


Brussels Sprout Tacos

Brussels sprouts tossed in Mexican bistek sauce and served on a sizzling stone with iceberg lettuce wrappers and accompaniments so that diners can make their own tiny bites that are one part Chinese sung choi bao and one part strange Mexican tacos.

The accompaniments are usually: smoked avocado, pickled red onion, cotija cheese, radishes, crispy brussels sprout leaves, tortilla strips, pickled jalapenos, salsa verde, and crema.

Not in my wildest dreams would I imagine eating brussels sprout tacos and loving them.


Kale matzoh balls served in kale galangal broth with stir-fried shisito peppers and red amaranth. Topped with pickled okra seeds, micro cilantro, and a poached egg. Matzoh ball soup is supposed to be comforting, and there’s nothing more comforting to me than a poached egg slowly dissolving into a warm, rich, spicy soup.

This is the most insanely delicious soup that I have ever had and now you know what I mean by clever? I love matzoh balls and the other ingredients mentioned above, but never could I come up with these combinations or the techniques she uses to transform foods we are all familiar with.

Now back to my current meal at Dirt Candy which was last week. Amanda Cohen the brilliant chef is from Canada and so to celebrate Canada Day she organized a special meal where we would go camping indoors.

That’s where the aforementioned $75 for vegetables comes in. My mom made the reservation for me as a special treat and I went with a couple of friends.