Serving : 4                            Time: 30 min                      Difficulty : Easy

This dish was taught to me by Joyce Johar. It tastes divine!





500 gms Fish – tilapia, swai, fluke, flounder, pollack , catfish etc. Sliced, washed with salt and turmeric. Keep aside.

1 large onion chopped fine

8 – 12 cloves of garlic thinly sliced.

1 large tomato, finely chopped

1 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp haldi or turmeric

2 green chillies slit

1 can of coconut milk

2 – 3 tbsp oil

1 cup water




Heat oil in a wok or kadai, stir fry the chopped onions till translucent. Meanwhile open the can of coconut milk and pour it into small glass or bowl. Add 1 cup water to the coconut milk can. Swish it around the can and add this thin liquid to the onions, along  with the slit green chilies, garlic, tomato, chilli powder and haldi. Bring to a boil.

Add fish slices and boil for a couple of minutes.. Add the coconut milk  and give the curry a good boil for another 2 minutes.

Serve with rice,  a side dish and kachumber salad.



Posted in Canola oil, Chilli Powder, Coconut Milk, Fish, Garlic, Green Chillies, onions, Tilapia, Turmeric | Leave a comment

Chicken Handi

Serving : 6 Time : 1 hour Difficulty : Medium

Chicken Handi


1. 2 to 3 Cups of onions chopped finely lengthwise.

2. 8 table spoons of ghee.

3. 2 tomatoes chopped.

4. 8 to 10 garlic chopped fine.

5. 3 Jalapenos chilis finely chopped’

6. 1 inch ginger piece made into a paste.

7. 2 table spoons of cumin – coriander powder.

8. 1 cup of curds – beaten

9. 1/2 tablespoon turmeric

10. 1 table spoon of kashmiri mirch.

11. 6 chicken thighs = cut into bite sized bits, with bone intact.

12. 2 tsp khada masala

13. Green coriander – a hand full



Heat a large kadai on a medium flame. add ghee to it and when it simmers , add the onions to the kadai.

Saute the onions till they are golden brown. Next add the garlic, ginger, ,and the chopped green chilis.

Saute the masala for 30 seconds then add the tomatoes. Let it cook for 5 mins, till the tomatoes

disintegrate. Now add the cumin -coriander powder, turmeric , kashmiri chili powder and the khada

masala powder. Mx well and let it cook for 1 – 2 mins. Now add salt and the chicken and mix well.

Cover and let it cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Next add beaten curds, mix well and then cover. Let it cook on a

low flame for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check to see if chicken is cooked. .

When done, check to see the seasoning, and garnish with green coriander

Serve hot with Rotis/Naan/ or Puris

Accompanied by raita, vegetable and salad.

Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Kathal ki sabzi

Difficulty — Easy

Time taken – 1 hour

Serves – 4

Kathak kl sabzi

Ingredients :

2 Cans of green tender Jack fruit (kathal) 16 oz can

I large onion – finely chopped

1 large tomato – finely chopped

6 – 8 cloves of garlic made into a paste

1 inch piece ginger finely chopped

2 serrona chili – finely chopped

1 Tbsp Cumin powder

1 Tsp turmeric

1/2 Tbsp kashmiri chili powder

1 cup coconut milk

4 Tbsp oil


1 Tsp gud or sugar

Method :

Heat oil in a kadai. Add chopped onions. Saute them till the onions are golden brown. Next add the chopped ginger and the garlic paste..Saute for a minute before adding the chopped tomato. Saute till the oil leaves the side of the kadai.

Next add turmeric, ground cumin, kasmiri chili powder and salt. Saute till the mixture is well cooked. Now add the drained kathal. If the kathal pieces are too big, cut them to bite size pieces. Mix the kathal into the masala, add 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.

Take the lid off the kadai, add the coconut milk and let the kathal sabzi come to a boil. Taste for salt. Next add sugar or gud. Let it boil one more time. Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Posted in Canola oil, Chilli Powder, Cumin, Garlic, Ginger, Jaggery, onions, Serrano chilies, sugar, Turmeric, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Beautiful Coonoor

The valley is enclosed in a shroud of mist. On an early March morning in Coonoor Soon, the fingers of Sun, light up the day. While all admire the view from Coonoor to Bandipur

The birds herald in the new day…….. As the Jacaranda blooms with all its glory. My hair gets disheveled as I walk along, For the wind blows with its usual hurry.

The tea-pickers work with lighting speed. On the hill slopes covered with tea estates. The birds fly from one tree to another, As they give answer to the call of their mates.

Jumping and dancing on its way, the little stream gurgles as it goes along. I walk amongst the verdant tea estates . I dream of spending my days, as the stream sings a song.

Written in March 1969 as Preeti Panemanglor.

Publishing on 12/30/2021 as Preeti Gurung.

During the 6 months of vacation, before going to college, I spent about 3 weeks in Coonoor with my Cousin Usha and her husband Jay. Jay was at Wellington. Since accommodations at Wellington weren’t available, they got a house in Coonoor. I went there with Channi Nirody my Mausi, and her husband Ramohan Nirody. I learnt a lot of new recipes and wrote a lot of poems. It was a lot of fun.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Chip Cookie

During the COVID 19 Pandemic, with so many in New Jersey losing their lives and the Hospitals overwhelmed with COVID 19 patients. Kismet and I decided that we must bake for the Doctors, Nurses Aides etc. who are literally putting their lives on the line and working crazy hours to keep the patients alive. So we baked over 150 Chocolate Chip Cookies and delivered them to our town’s Mayor – Michael Gonnelli to distribute it the Heroes at the Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus

Makes 40 Time : 1 hr Difficulty : Easy

Ingredients :

2 sticks salted butter (1 cup)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar ( packed

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

3 1/4 cups sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 cups chocolate chips

Method :

Line Cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Heat the oven to 350 F

In a Kitchen Aid mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the 2 sugars


Measure out the flour, and add the baking soda and powder. Separately measure out

the chocolate chips.

Break the eggs in a small bowl. Add the vanilla.

Once the butter and sugar are light and fluffy, add the eggs vanilla mixture and keep

beating. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, till the flour is completely incorporated.

Finally add the Chocolate chips and mix well.

Either using a scoop or 2 spoons make the dough into balls. Place on the lined

Cookie sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 14 min or till the edges are

turning a beautiful brown.

Cool on racks for 10 to 15 minutes

Posted in All Purpose Flour, Baking, baking powder, baking soda, Brown Sugar, Butter, Chocolate Chips, sugar, Vanilla extract | Leave a comment

Valencia Style Paella

Serves : 6 to 8 Total time : 1 hr 20 mins Difficulty : Medium

I have been meaning to try this particular dish for ages. My grandson loves rice, more so with sea food.

I had all the ingredients except saffron and mussels. So here it is without those 2 items.

It came out pretty good.


Ingredients :

1/4 cup olive oil.

1 lb Shelled deveined Shrimp/ Prawn

1/2 lb chorizo or spicy sausage cut into thin slices

1 lb Tilapia or Fluke or any mild white fish – cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 lb scallops

2 or 3 spanish onions – chopped

8 -10 cloves of garlic – chopped.

1 cup chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp Capers

1/2 to 1 tsp or red chilie flakes

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

2 cups short grain rice

1 1/2 cups of white wine ( I used a Chardonnay)

32 ounces of Chicken or seafood broth

1 cup of frozen peas

1 cup bottled roasted red peppers – chopped

Garnish of cilantro or parsley

Directions :

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a shallow skillet. Saute the sausage for about 5 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet, and stir fry the onions, garlic till translucent. Next add the tomatoes, capers, chile flakes, pepper, salt, rice, wine, broth and the peas. Bring to a brisk boil, lower the flame and simmer with the skillet covered for 20 minutes.

Stir the rice and then add the Sausages, Shrimp, Scallops and the Fish. Cover and cook for around 8 minutes. The fish should have turned opaque and seafood should have been cooked.

Take the Paella off the heat and sprinkle the top with the roasted pepper and cilantro/ parsley.


Notes :

  1. One can add Mussels along with a 1/2 cup pf water, once the rice had cooked. Cook on low for about 8 minutes till the shells open. Once the Mussels open, discard the shells that have not opened. Add the seafood and sausages to the rice
  2. Add 1/2 tsp Saffron soaked in water till melted and then add it the rice before cooking it.
  3. You can add a variety of seafood to this dish.
Posted in Capers, Chili flakes, Cilantro leaves, Garlic, Kosher salt, Mussels, olive oil, onions, Pepper powder, Rice, Saffron, Sausages, Scallops, Shrimp, Tilapia, Tomato, White Wine | Leave a comment

Crusty Artisan Loaf – No Knead

Serving : 4 – 6 Time : 18 to 24 hrs Difficulty : Easy
This is my first attempt at making an Artisanal Loaf! After mixing the 4 basic ingredients in a plastic bowl. I covered it and let it remain at room temperature for almost 14 hours. Then into the oven and voila! A beautiful loaf of artisan bread!!!!Less than 2 hours later, all that was left was the heel from the end and crumbs!
3 cups of unbleached bread flour ( I used King Arthur brand bread flour) + extra for dusting
1/2 tsp active dry yeast ( Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast Original works well)
1 3/4th to 2 tsp Kosher or coarse sea salt
1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp of tepid water
In a glass or plastic bowl put in all the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Next add the water and using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, mix the dry ingredients till the whole dough looks a messy mass. Do not overwork to make it smooth. It will look lumpy and uneven. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap or cover and keep in a warm room temperature area for around 14 to 20 hours.
When ready to start baking, take an enameled cast iron pot or dutch oven and place it in a preheated oven at 450 F for 30 to 40 minutes.
In the meantime, take the dough, which should now be smelling yeasty and like sourdough. It should have more than doubled in size and the top should have a lot of bubbles all over!
Turn out the dough, which will be a sticky mess, on to a floured board. Dreg your hands with flour and quickly bring the mass together into a round shape. cover and let it rest on the board for around 30 to 35 minutes.
Take the cast iron enameled pot from the oven and remove the cover. Gently put the dough, into the middle of the pot, taking care not to burn your hands. Cover the pot and place the pot back in the oven for another 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the lid and let it bake for another 10 to 20 minutes – depending on the oven – to get that beautiful golden brown crust! I baked it for around 14 minutes
Take it out of the pot carefully and let cool on a rack for about an hour. When you knock on the loaf, it should sound hollow!
Cut into slices and enjoy with butter, cheese, herb infused olive oil or any other topping!
Absolutely yumcious!!
Please read the notes below the photos
This loaf can be baked in any oven safe container that has a lid. Incase there is no lid, loosely cover with a piece of heavy duty foil. If the knob on the lid cannot withstand 450F temperature, then wrap the knob with a piece of heavy duty foil.
Incase one wants to add dried herbs, Garlic powder, shredded onions, cheese, dry fruits or nuts, do so along with the flour, right in the beginning, before adding the water.
Never us a metal bowl or spatula for mixing the dough.
If one wants to cover the top of the loaf with herbs, garlic, onions etc., do so after brushing the top with melted butter or oil and sprinkling the condiment on top, before baking.
Incase there is any bread left over, do not place in a plastic bag, which will destroy the crusty top, so leave it on the cutting board with the cut side down and loosely cover the loaf with a kitchen towel.
If one is using a regular pot, and not an enameled one, place a parchment paper at the bottom of the pot to stop the dough from sticking to the pot.
Please do not use iodised or table salt. Using this will make the bread dense. Kosher or coarse sea salt works wonders!!
Adapted partially from Comfort Cooking

Posted in Active Yeast, All Purpose Flour, Bread, Kosher salt, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chicken Pickle





Total time: 1 hr. Prep time: 1/2 hr. Cook time: 1/2 hr


1 lb boneless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch(5cm) cubes.

2 bulbs of garlic peeled

1 1/2 inch piece of ginger peeled and cut into small cubes

1 1/4 cups white vinegar.

10 whole red chillies ( I used Badgi – very similar to New Mexico chillies)

2 tablespoons cumin/coriander powder

2 Serrano Chillies cut into slices

1 tablespoons red chilli powder to taste (if required)

20 curry leaves

2 to 3 cups of oil

1 teaspoon khada masala powder.

Salt to taste


Grind together the garlic, ginger and whole red chillies, in vinegar till one achieves a smooth paste.

Heat 2 cups of oil. When smoking hot, add the curry leaves, green chillies, and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add the ground masala, and fry till the masala turns brown. Next add the cumin/coriander powder and stir fry some more.

Add the diced chicken and salt. Let it cook on a medium flame for another 5 to 7 minutes, till the chicken is fully cooked. Lastly add the khada masala. Stir well. Lower the flame and then check to adjust the seasoning. Add more salt, vinegar, oil and chilli powder if required.
Let it come to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Take it off the heat. Cool the pickle, and then bottle, label and enjoy!

Khada Masala :

Grind together the following spices in a spice grinder

10 cloves

2 inch piece cinnamon

1 tbsp peppercorn

1 tsp cumin seeds

4 black cardamoms whole

8 green cardamom seeds

Grind to a fine powder. Bottle in an air tight container to maintain its flavor


Posted in Cardamom Black, Cardamom Green, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cumin, Curry leaves, Garlic, Ginger, Khada Masala Powder, Peppercorn, Serrano chilies, Vinegar, Whole Red Chillies -Badgi or New Mexico | 2 Comments

No Yeast Pizza Dough

This makes thin crust Pizza very nicely. Not good for a thick crust Pizza

Ingredients :

2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

1/1/3rd tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp oil – Canola or veg

2/3rd cup water

Directions to make:

In a bowl mix all the ingredients together and mix on low till a soft ball forms. If the dough is too dry or stiff add 2 tbsp of water in 1 tbsp increments till one gets the dough to be soft, not sticky. with dough attachment knead for 2 to 3 minutes or you can knead by hand for around 4 to 6 minutes.

Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 425F

Flour the base and roll out the dough till it is thin.

Bake for 8 minutes.

Let cool.

Spread the tomato sauce and what ever toppings you want. Last of all the cheese.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes till the cheese has melted and the edges are brown.

Note: If you do not like the taste of baking soda, replace it with 2 2/3 tsp baking powder. Increase the salt from 1/4 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp.

You can add herbs, garlic powder etc to the flour for a more flavorful base.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kadhai Chicken

Kadhai Chicken

Kadhai Chicken

Serves : 4                               Total Time : 2 hrs prep time. 30 min cook time


Ingredients :

1 Kg Chicken – cut into 5 cm cubes.

2 tsp red chilli powder

8 tsp garlic ginger paste


6 tbsp oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp Khada Masala powder

5 Plum Tomatoes- sliced thin.

4-5 green chillies split in the middle

2 Capsicum or Bell Peppers cut into 5cm

2 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds – roasted and powdered.

1 tbsp Garam masala powder

1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves( also called kasuri methi)

1 small bunch coriander leaves( cilantro)

1 inch fresh ginger – cut into thin sticks(optional)

Method :

In a bowl,  put in the chicken pieces and add 2 tsp of salt, 1tsp chili powder, 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste and massage it well into the chicken pieces. Cover and keep aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Heat the oil in a wok or kadhai. when hot, add the cumin seeds and once they splutter, add the chicken pieces. Add the Khada masala powder and the remaining ginger garlic paste. Stir well and once the chicken all becomes opaque, let it cook for 5 minutes.

Next add the tomatoes, green chilies, capsicums, remaining red chilli powder and the powdered coriander/cumin powder to the chicken. Mix well and lower the heat to medium and cover. Let it cook for another 5 to 7  minutes till the tomatoes have totally disintegrated into a nice thick gravy. Check if the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Sprinkle the chicken with garam masala, dried fenugreek leaves and chopped green coriander leaves. Mix well. Garnish with a few green coriander leaves and sliced ginger sticks( if using!)

Serve hot with rotis or Naan and rice.

Khada Masala

Grinder to a fine powder – 2 tbsp cloves, 2 tbsp pepper corn, 4 inch piece of cinnamon, 8 bay leaves, 8 black cardamoms, and 12 dried chillies.

Bottle and keep. Use as required

Use any garam masala you like.






Posted in Bell pepper, Canola oil, Chicken, Chilli Powder, Cilantro leaves, Coriander seeds, Cumin, Fenugreek leaves( kasuri methi), Garam Masala, Garlic, Ginger, Green Chillies, Khada Masala Powder, Red chillies - Bedgi, Tomato | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment