Saturday, November 30, 2013

Spicy latkes with creamy yogurt dip

Or should I call these aloo tikkis (potato patties) with a twist?

Latkes can be very simple recipies with few ingredients while aloo tikkis (potato patties) can call for many ingredients. Picking the best from both gives spicy latkes complemented with creamy cilantro and lime yogurt dip.

Potato patties or aloo tikkis as commonly known among indians are made with boiled potato. Latkes are made with grated potato. Grated potato give a nice texture which I like. So, along with grated potato, I added onion and carrot. This part is like a latke but adding some spices to it brings in the tikki taste.

Grating a potato, an onion and a carrot may sound like a lot of work but it isn't. Use the big holes side of your box grater. It will not take much time. You can choose to finely chop your onion instead of grating it. 

The most important thing is to drain all vegetable juice. The mix will not be soupy! Also, add salt at the end to prevent the juices from running again.

Bake or fry? I have fried them as you can see here. But, if you want to opt for less oil version, you can definitely bake them. Mix 1 and half tablespoon of softened butter to your mixture and bake. They will turn out equally yummy!

These latkes get crispy on the outside with soft creamy inside with a hint of spice. I decided to pair these fried spicy goodness with creamy cilantro and lime dip. This dip helps to cool your tongue and to never stop consuming these. Doesn't these look totally to die for?


For Latkes:

1 large russet potato

1 medium onion

1 small carrot

1 jumbo egg/ 2 eggs

1 tbsp fresh ginger paste

2 tsp cumin powder

1tsp coriander powder

2 green chilies [Modify according to your tolerance of heat]

⅓ cup chopped cilantro

Juice of ½ lime

1 cup bread crumbs [Bread crumbs will soak any excess water. You can substitute with flour if you don't have crumbs]

Salt for seasoning

For dip:

3 tbsp plain greek yogurt

1 tsp of lime juice

⅓ cup chopped cilantro

½ tsp roasted cumin powder [Dry roast some cumin seeds on a pan on medium heat. When the aroma of roasted cumin fills your nose, take them off the heat. Be careful not to burn them- keep tossing them around on the pan. Once they are cool, add it to your grinder and make a powder. I usually roast at least 3-4 tbsp of whole cumin seeds and store my powder for later use.]

a pinch of salt


For latkes:

Grate potato, onion and carrot in a bowl lined with a kitchen towel. Wring out juices as much as you can.

Transfer it to a bowl. Add all other ingredients except salt and mix well. 

Start heating a shallow pan with vegetable/canola oil on medium heat.

When the oil is hot, add salt to the mixture.

Add about half to 1 tbsp of the mixture and flatten with your spoon. Do not crowd your latkes or they will not get crispy outside.

When it has browned on one side (approx 4-5min), turn and fry the other side.

The latkes will be nice golden brown in color. Put them on a double paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve hot with yogurt dip.

For yogurt dip:

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Add water to bring it to the consistency you like.

Bacon wrapped Brussels sprouts

I love my veggies but I love meat too and the combination of two is great, for instance, bacon wrapped Brussels sprouts. Roasted Brussels sprouts are delicious, but wrap them in bacon and they become heavenly good as the fat from the bacon seeps into the layers of the sprouts. Pop one of these into your mouth and the sprouts melt away perfectly complemented with the crispy bacon.

This is a no-fail, simplest recipe ever. You need Brussel sprouts, of course! Remove the outer leaves and halve them.

Next is bacon. I used thick cut. Cut each slice of bacon into two.

Now start wrapping one half of Brussels sprout in one half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Arrange them nicely on a foil wrapped baking tray and sprinkle ground black pepper on them. Put them in a preheated oven at 375° for 30 min.

And Voila!! You have no idea how difficult it was for me to wait to take these pics before I could start devouring them.

This can be made so easily and so quickly for guests at home or bring them to a potluck.


1 lb pack of thick cut bacon

1 lb Brussels sprouts. [I had lined the extra sprouts with a little salt and pepper along with the wrapped ones on my tray and they got soaked in bacon fat too and turned out yummy!]

1 tb ground black pepper.


Preheat oven to 375°.

Cut each Brussels sprouts in halves.

Cut each slice of bacon in half.

Wrap each piece of sprout with bacon and secure ends of bacon with toothpick.

Sprinkle the black pepper on the wrapped sprouts.

Arrange them nicely (without crowding) on a foil wrapped tray.

Put them in the oven for 30 min.

Drain excess fat by lining them on paper towel.

Enjoy hot but be careful!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Hot and sweet cranberry chutney

I am so excited to start my food blog today. I am always excited about food and spices. For the last few years I have been celebrating Thanksgiving Dinner with my friends and family and this recipe has always been at the top of their favorites. 

Starting from scratch with a bag of fresh cranberries can take a lot of time, so I skip that completely and go ahead with a store bought cranberry sauce. But, I make sure I get the whole berry cranberry sauce instead of the jellied one. You don't need to tell anyone the truth and fool them easily!

Whole berry sauce
I find store bought cranberry sauce to be just flat sweet, so I spice it up. Along with a citrus flavor from orange zest and juice, orange gives it a tangy taste which you will like for sure. A little bit of ginger and chili powder adds more dimension to this sauce. Try it, its yum!!

Hot and sweet cranberry sauce 


1 14oz Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry sauce can.

Zest and juice of one orange/2 clementines

1 tsp of fresh ginger paste.

1 tsp of red chili powder (modify according to your tolerance of heat).


Add the entire contents of a 14oz Oceanspray Whole Berry Cranberry sauce can in a sauce pan on medium heat. The sauce will loosen up as it will get heated up.

Add the zest and juice of one whole orange. I have used 2 clementines this time. Use any citrus fruit you have.

Add the fresh ginger paste and the chili powder and simmer the sauce for 5-10min on medium heat until it thickens up. I cannot stress enough on the fresh ginger paste. Try not to use store bought ginger paste, they have vinegar as preservative which might alter the flavor of the sauce.

Take it off heat before it gets too thick. The sauce will thicken more as it cools down.

Pour it in a nice bowl and serve.