Friday, July 30, 2010

Crab Cakes with Pickled Garlic & Cucumber Relish

One of my dear friend is suffering from Cancer. I have been accompanying her to the hospital for her chemo treatment. It is so sad to see some young kids going through this sickness. I have come across so many young and old people with different kinds of cancer and it is so sad to see them suffer. But, I must say that this experience has helped me appreciate life better rather than simply taking it for granted.

While waiting at the hospital for her turn, I was whiling my time reading a few magazines. Suddenly, I saw this interesting recipe of Crab cakes with Pickled garlic and cucumber relish. The picture looked so appetizing that it simply caught my attention. I immediately grabbed a paper and pen from the receptionist and wrote it down. Last week, I tried it out at home and it came out really good. So, thought of sharing it with all of you...

Preparation Time: 30 minutes + refrigerating time
Makes :12 crab cakes


2 tbsp butter
2 green onions finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped celery
2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
250 gms crab meat drained
2 eggs
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
11/2 cups panko breadcrumbs - divided into 2 portions (I used regular breadcrumbs)
1 tbsp olive oil

  • Melt the butter in a pan. Cook onions, celery and red bell pepper for about 5 minutes and then transfer it into a bowl.
  • To this, add the crab meat, 1 egg, lime juice, mayonnaise, cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin, chilli powder, 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs. Stir till it well combined.
  • Make 12 crab cakes and freeze it for about 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
  • Brush the baking sheet with olive oil
  • Beat one egg in the bowl and put the remaining panko breadcrumbs in another bowl.
  • Dip the crab cakes first into the egg and then sprinkle it with panko breadcrumbs and transfer them to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes on one side and then flip it and bake again for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve hot with Pickled Garlic & Cucumber Relish on top.

Pickled Garlic & Cucumber Relish

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 1/2 cup


3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp cucumber finely chopped
1 tbsp red bell pepper finely chopped
2 tbsp mango finely chopped
1 tsp red onion finely chopped
1 tsp cilantro finely chopped
1/2 tsp Indian pickled garlic (you can find this in the Indian Grocery stores)

  • Mix everything together and serve it on top of the crab cakes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Strawberry Smoothie

Who doesn't love strawberries??? This delicious recipe is a perfect drink to beat the summer heat. You can make this with fresh or frozen strawberries and it tastes simply refreshing. Enjoy!!!

Preparation Time : 5 minutes
Serves : 1


100 gm fresh or frozen strawberries cut into halves
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup low fat yoghurt beaten
a pinch of nutmeg powder
a sprig of mint leaf

Method :
  • Sprinkle the sugar on the strawberries and put everything together in the blender except for the mint leaves and blend it till it is smooth and creamy.
  • Garnish with mint leaf and a slice of strawberry.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beef Roast Sandwiches / Beef Chilly

I generally cook a lot of chicken. I am not too fond of beef or any other meat. But, one day this friend of mine taught me to make this delicious beef roast. I am not exaggerating, it is simply amazing. The best part of this recipe is that, you can make the beef roast and then have different variations of it. You can either make chilly beef out of the roast or beef roast sandwiches or simply have beef roast with some vegetables and mashed potatoes. So, just one simple recipe can help you prepare 3 days dinner. Isn't that so convenient?

So, here goes the recipe :

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Cooking Time : 2-3 hours
Serves : 6 people


for the Beef Roast:
11/2 lb beef eye of round
3 big onion chopped fine
3 big tomatoes chopped fine
2 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp garlic paste
4-5 kashmiri whole red chillies
1 tbsp clvoes
5-6 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp cane or rice vinegar (if you don't have this, even regular vinegar would do)
salt & pepper to taste

  • First prick the eye of round with a fork on all sides. Then, apply salt all over the eye of round. Then, rub the ginger-garlic paste nicely on all sides. Finally rub the pepper and pour the vinegar on it and keep it aside for about 1/2 hour. (You could also marinate this the previous night and keep it in the refrigerator)
  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker. When the oil is hot, throw in the cloves and cinnamon sticks, whole red chillies and fry for a minute or two.
  • Then, add the onions and fry till they turn translucent.
  • Then, add the tomatoes and salt and fry for about 10 minutes.
  • On top of this gravy, place the marinated beef and pour in 1/4 cup water and cover the cooker and wait for the pressure cooker to release 3 whistles.
  • After the 3 whistles, lower the heat and without opening the cooker, let it cook on slow flame for about 25-30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the meat from the gravy and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Increase the heat and thicken the gravy. This will take about 30 minutes to thicken the gravy.
  • After the meat has rested, cut it into thin long strips and mix it with the gravy.
  • Delicious beef roast is ready.
For Beef Chilly:

2 big onions cut into thick round circles
2 big tomatoes cut into thick round circles
3-4 green chillies slit (depending on your spice intake)
1/2 fresh lemon squeezed to get juice.

  • Place the cooked roasted beef with the gravy in a pan.
  • On top of it, place the onions and tomatoes and the slit green chillies.
  • Adjust the seasoning and pour in the lemon juice.
  • On slow flame, keep mixing the onions & tomatoes into the beef till you see the tomatoes getting mushed and the onions turning slightly translucent.
  • Remove from heat and serve it with some roasted potatoes or grilled vegetables
For Beef Roast Sandwiches:
Serves : 1

1 hot dog bread
1 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp beef chilly
some shredded ice-berg lettuce
some shredded cheese (any cheese of your choice)

Method :
  • Cut the hot dog bread into half and apply mayonnaise on both sides.
  • On top of it, place about 3 tbsp of beef chilly
  • Sprinkle with some shredded cheese of your choice and grill it in the oven for about 5 minutes till the cheese is melted.
  • On top of the cheese, put some shredded ice-berg lettuce and serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sweet & Spicy Brinjal Pickle

One day at a friend's place, I tasted brinjal pickle. I liked the sweet and spicy taste of the pickle. I went about hunting for it in every Indian store, but I just could not find it on the counter. So, I decided to make it myself. My friend told me that it is quite a simple procedure to make this pickle and so I decided to give it a try. This is my first attempt at pickle making. The output was really good. I am definitely going to try making different types of pickles now.

Preparation Time : 1-2 hours
Makes : 500 gms bottle

Ingredients :

1/2 kg long purple brinjals / aubergines / eggplants
4 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece ginger
1 cup vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil or any refined oil
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp salt
3 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds

for the paste:
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 inch piece ginger rougly chopped
1 tsp methi seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds

Method :
  • Wash and dry the brinjals. Then cut them into medium size pieces. Marinate them with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp chilli powder and keep aside.
  • Roughly cut the ginger and garlic and keep aside.
  • Combine all the paste ingredients together and soak it in 1 cup of vinegar for about 1 hour.
  • Strain the vinegar and keep aside and make a paste out of the residue with a little of the strained vinegar.
  • Heat 1 cup oil in a pan. Throw in the mustard seeds.
  • When they start spluttering, add the chopped ginger and garlic and sauté for a minute or two.
  • Then add the ground paste and fry it nicely for about 5 mins to take out all the raw smell of the ingredients.
  • To this add, the brinjals, salt and chilli powder and cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • When the brinjals get a little soft, add the sugar and the vinegar and stir nicely till the sugar is dissolved.
  • Keep the flame low and continue to cook the brinjal without covering it till the sugar dissolves completely and the brinjal are softened and the mixture has thickened.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool completely. This will take atleast 5-6 hours to cool off.
  • Then fill it in bottles or any air-tight container. Make sure you have put in sufficient oil from the pickle in the bottle so that it can be preserved for a longer time.
  • Chill it in the refrigerator and serve it with chapatis or with rice and dal.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Avocado Smoothie

Saw this recipe on my friend's blog. Always wondered how avocado smoothie would taste. But, the fruit itself is pretty bland. Was a little hesitant to even try it out first, but then finally decided to give it a try. It turned out really good. The texture was so creamy and smooth...just couldn't stop sipping it.

This recipe has taught me not to be afraid of trying out new things because sometimes, until we try, we will never know.

Grilled garlic pepper prawns

Some days back, I saw this recipe on Sanjeev Kapoor's site. Simply fell in love looking at it. So, decided to give it a try. It was a superhit. Now, I make this recipe all the time whenever I have friends over. It serves as a great appetizer.

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 10 minutes


40 medium sized prawns de-veined (tail on)
4 tbsp garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp jamaican rum
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil

  • Heat butter and oil in a pan. When it is hot, throw in the minced garlic and sauté for a minute.
  • Then add the prawns and stir-fry on for about a minute or two on either side. Season it with salt and pepper.
  • When the prawns are almost ready, add the rum and lemon juice to it and mix it all well.
  • Serve immediately.