Chana Masala

It is my sincere apology that I've waited so long to post another delicious recipe. Things have been crazy with family and friends visiting, a new job, and our daughter starting preschool again. This busy season is a welcome change. Our life is slowly falling into a gentle rhythm; which brings me to today.

While Autumn hasn't officially started yet,our mountain town has started to experience the cooler air, and the Aspens have begun to turn color.Yesterday, I craved something warm and comforting, so I whipped up an old favorite; Chana Masala.

This simple and colorful dish, is not only easy but also delicious. The star of this dish is of course the Chickpeas (Chana in Urdu/Hindi). The other ingredients include ginger, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and spices to complete it. Chana Masala is usually served as a side dish, and we ate it with Chicken Curry last night. However, it works wonderfully for my vegetarian/vegan friends as a yummy meal served with rice.

Chana Masala-Chickpea Curry
Serves: 4-5 Cook Time: 35 minutes

~1.5 Tb Cooking Oil (I prefer Olive)
~1 medium onion chopped
~1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
~3-4 cloves garlic
~2 inch piece of ginger
~1Tb ground coriander
~3 Tsp ground cumin
~1/4 Tsp turmeric
~1 Tsp salt
~dash of red pepper
~dash of garam masala (optional)
~2 medium tomatoes, chopped
~2 15oz cans of Chickpeas, drained (aka-Garbanzo beans)
~2 Tb of Plain Yogurt (or vegan yogurt)
~Cilantro, chopped

1.) Place onions into a medium pot, and lightly brown.

2.) While onions are browning, place jalapeno, garlic and ginger into a small food processor and blend until minced finely. After onions have browned, place blended mixture in with onions and cook on medium-high for one minute.

3.) Add spices to pot, and cook with onion mixture for 30-45 seconds; careful not to burn.

4.) Add tomatoes, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the juices are released and a nice gravy starts to form. Add chickpeas.

5.) Cook chickpeas for 5 minutes, and then add the yogurt and mix well. Cook chickpeas on medium heat for 15 minutes, or until tender. Mix in or garnish with cilantro and enjoy!


Fruit Chaat

It's finally summer here in our hometown. It's a very welcome and refreshing change from the unexpected snow that continued into early May. My husband and I have finally come to appreciate our new backyard. The once empty and lonely plant life has finally bloomed and we are loving all the beautiful trees and flowers. For two years we lived in a condo, with a daughter and a dog. Seeing my family play and soak up the sunshine, in our backyard, has been one of this year's highlights.

One of my favorite late afternoon summer treats is a bowl of Fruit Chaat; Pakistani Fruit Salad. This Chaat combines the bounty of fresh fruit with sugar and spice. The flavors are incredible and will have anyone asking for more.

Fruit Chaat is considered street food and is sold at bazaars and marketplaces. If I close my eyes, I can still smell and hear the street vendors in Pakistan selling this sweet goodness by the bowl.

The great thing about making this dish, is that it is so versatile to anyone's tastes and preferences. If you don't like the fruit used in this recipe, you're more than welcome to try your own.

Fruit Chaat- Pakistani Fruit Salad
Serves: 3-4  Cook Time: 1 hr 15minutes

~2 Apples, washed & diced
~2 Nectarines, washed & diced
~2 Stalks worth of grapes (about 60)
~1 Banana, sliced
~1 1/2 Tb of Sugar
~1 Teaspoon Chaat Masala*
~Pinch of cayenne pepper ( 1/4 tsp for extra spicy)
~Half of a lemon

*Chaat Masala can be found at any local Indian/Pakistani store and even in large Asian markets. If not, you can order order online at Savory Spice Shop. I think they have a lovely version of this spice blend; seen here.

1.) Combine apples, nectarines, and grapes. Mix in banana, carefully.

2.) Sprinkle half of Sugar, chat masala and cayenne pepper onto fruit. Mix fruit, and then sprinkle the rest of spices on top. Slightly mix again.

3.) Squeeze some lemon juice on fruit, and then taste. Add more spices or lemon juice if needed. (Lemon juice not only adds a great refreshing flavor, but also keeps the fruit from browning)

4.) Store the Fruit Chaat, in a covered bowl, in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Serve immediately. This is best enjoyed the same day, but can be stored for 1-2 days in the fridge.

Take this dish to your next summer picnic!




Happy Birthday to Me

Hey Everyone! I've decided to take a break from my regular posting today. This weekend was a mad dash to clean the house, because one of our good friends is coming to stay with us. Today is also my birthday, so I wanted to relax a bit. Hope you don't mind! ;-)

However, in lieu of a recipe today, I would love to hear from my readers! It would mean so much to me!

1.) What are some questions you have for me?
2.) What are some pro/cons regarding this blog?
3.) Would you like to see something else on this blog, other than recipes? Maybe articles about culture, traditions, information about Pakistan and India?

Thanks so much! Expect a new recipe next week!

Till then,


Picture: / CC BY 2.0


Pakistani Chicken Curry

My Mother's Chicken Curry is by far one of my favorite dishes. I would rank it in the top ten. It was only fitting that I made this for Mother's Day, yesterday. Now, before you think anything terrible, I wanted to cook this for dinner and Hubby made a absolutely delicious breakfast of French Crepes for me. All is right in the world.

My mother's recipe consists of first blending onions, jalapenos, garlic and spices, and than tomatoes for the base. Than she adds the meat, and the final result is tender and juicy chicken with a very savory and delicious gravy. Serve with Basmati Rice and Mint Chutney and you won't be disappointed with this meal!

Pakistani Chicken Curry
Serves: 4-6  Cook Time: 1 hr

7-8 tablespoons desired cooking oil (I prefer Olive)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 or 6 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch diameter of ginger
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
1 level teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 level teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander powder
1 small size of black cardamom, slightly cracked
1/2 stick of cinnamon
6 or 7 cloves
2 1/2 medium size tomatoes, chopped
1.5 pounds Chicken Drumsticks w/bone, fat and/or skin removed
1.5 pounds Chicken Thigh Fillets, skinless & boneless
2 heaping tablespoon of plain yogurt
1 cup of hot water

Cilantro, optional

1.) Lightly brown onions on medium heat in a large pot with all of the cooking oil.

2.) While onions are cooking, place jalapenos, garlic and ginger into a food processor and blend into very tiny pieces. Add mixture when onions have browned in the pot.

3.) After cooking jalapeno mix and onions for 30 seconds, add cayenne pepper, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. Cook and stir well for 30 seconds, making sure the spices are well blended. Add the tomatoes.

4.) Cook the tomatoes on medium heat for one minute and then bring heat down to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes are very soft, tender, and the juices have been released. Stir occasionally. ~This takes about 10 minutes for me

5.) Bring heat back to medium, and add the chicken and stir well, until blended in tomato-spice mixture. When the outside of the chicken looks cooked, add the yogurt and mix well. Add hot water and bring to a boil.

6.) Reduce heat to low, cover, and let chicken cook for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through, and water is reduced to a gravy. Stir Occasionally.

7.) Add cilantro to the chicken. Serve with Basmati Rice and Mint Chutney.




Kahwa- Pakistani Green Tea

Kahwa is a popular green tea drink that originates from Kashmir. It has become popular especially in Pakistan, and in parts of India. It is also enjoyed by Afghani people. It is a popular drink that was tied to celebrations and parties; but now is enjoyed as an after dinner tea.

My husband and I love to drink this tea. We drink this almost everyday in the winter. In the summer we drink it at least once or twice a week. I make a very simple version which involves loose green tea leaves and plenty of cardamom seeds. The result is a soft, yet comforting taste that is a perfect accompaniment for snuggling up and watching a movie.

Kawha- Pakistani Green Tea
Serves: 2  Prep: 5 minutes Cook Time: 7-8 minutes

~ 7-8 green cardamom, pods+seeds
~ 4.5 cups of water
~ 2 Tb loose green tea leaves

~Sugar, Optional

1.) Break open the cardamom pods, and put the pods and seeds in a small pot/tea kettle. Pour water into your pot.
2.)  Let the water come to a boil.
3.) When the water is boiling, put in the tea leaves. Let everything boil together for 45 seconds. Turn off stove.
4.) Strain and serve into cups. Sugar to taste.

Alternative Directions: The above recipe is for regular strength of tea. If you like your tea strong, than follow above directions; but after turning off the stove let the tea steep for 2-3 minutes.




Vegetarian Samosas

Vegetarian Samosas

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you. Ever since I was a little girl, samosas have been one of my favorite snacks to eat. I would always get so excited to go to the South Asian store with my mom. She would always buy samosas and mango juice for us to eat. I loved samosas so much, that we served them as appetizers at our wedding. As you can tell,my love for them run deep.

Samosas are pastries that are filled with a potato, vegetable and spice mixture. You can than fry them in oil or bake them in the oven. I prefer them fried, because they have a nice crisp outer layer, while soft and yummy in the inside. Samosas can be served as an appetizer, or a snack with afternoon tea. My mint chutney recipe goes great with these samosas.

Vegetarian Samosas (
adapted from Food Network)
Cook Time: 1 hr  Yield:  14-16

~ 1 1/2 cups flour
~1 teaspoon salt
~1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
~7-8 Tablespoons cold water

2 large baking potatoes, russets, peeled, and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4th jalapeno pepper, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1.) Mix flour, salt and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add water and form into a dough ball.
2.) Knead dough on a floured surface for five minutes, until firm. Place into a bowl and cover with a towel for 30 minutes.

1.) Place potato pieces into a saucepan, cover with water, and boil until tender. ~30 minutes.
2.) Place onions into an oiled large skillet/frying pan and lightly brown on medium heat.
3.) After onions have bowned, add ginger, jalapeno pepper and garlic. Lightly fry for 30 seconds. Than add garam masala, salt, turmeric, black pepper, and cayenne. Mix and fry for 30 more seconds.
4.) Add the potatoes to onion mixture, and lightly fry until spices are well incorporated.
5.) Add frozen peas, and cook for two minutes. Stir cilantro into potato mixture, and turn off the heat. Mix lemon juice into mixture.

To Make Samosas
1.) Remove pastry dough from bowl, and place onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about one minute. Separate dough into 8 equal balls.
2.) Roll out each ball out to a circle, about 6-7 inches in diameter. Cut each piece in half. You should have about 16 pieces of flattened dough at this point.
3.) Take one piece of dough, bring sides together to form a cone. Seal edges with water. Fill the cone with 1Tb of potato mixture. Fold top of dough down, and seal again with water. Repeat this step with remaining pieces of dough.
4.) Fill a deep saucepan with about 2-3 inches of vegetable oil. Warm oil on medium heat.
5.) Gently slip samosas pastries into the oil. Cook samosas until golden brown on both sides. This took me about 4-5 minutes. Cook in small batches. I cook about 3-4 samosas at a time.
6.) Serve samosas warm, and with chutney.

Alternative Directions:
Heat oven to 350F. Place uncooked pastries on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Samosas will be a very light color.

 (These were baked)



Mint Chutney

Mint Chutney is another staple for any South Asian meal. It is a basic, yet essential condiment, that can be served with appetizers, sides, and main dishes. Not only is it delicious, but it serves as a nice cool compliment to the abundance of spicy dishes. It is very easy to make and it can be partially frozen, to save even more time for the future. Whether you're cooking South Asian food or not, try this chutney with your next meal!

Mint Chutney
Prep: 5 minutes Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

~1 Tomato, chopped
~2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
~small bunch of mint leaves (about 4 stalks worth)
~1 teaspoon salt
~1 teaspoon cumin powder
~Plain Yogurt

~juice of half lemon, optional

1.) Place chopped tomato in blender, and blend until soft and liquidy.

2.) Place jalepeno peppers, mint, cumin and salt into blender, with tomato. Blend all ingredients into a paste.

3.) Place two tablespoons of yogurt into a bowl. Place one tablespoon of blended paste into yogurt and mix. Keep adding amounts of yogurt and paste, until desired taste/spice level is achieved. The more yogurt there is, the less spicy the chutney is. The more paste there is, the more spicy the chutney. The chutney should be a little thick, due to the yogurt. You can squeeze and mix in a little lemon juice, to really enhance the flavors.

4.) Freeze the rest of the blended paste into ice cube tray(s).  To use later: Thaw one ice cube of paste, and add desired amount of yogurt.




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