I love Middle Eastern cuisine. Apart from being healthy, it also tastes very good, especially when the name sounds so good such as Shakshouka or Shakshuka. There is a certain ring to this word, like you feel this dish cannot go wrong, and you are right. This dish, apparently of Tunisian origin and quite popular across Middle East and some parts of Mediterranea, is very simple to make and makes a great pairing with warm pita bread, or even Indian naan or roti. The name comes from the Berber word 'Chakchouka' which means vegetable ragout. It later became very popular in Israel and they coined the term Shakshuka which means 'to shake things up'. The dish is spiciest version of poached eggs you will ever have, and oh, so yum.


Ingredients Serves 2

Eggs- 4 Onion- 1 medium, sliced Thai green chillies- 6-7, depending on your desired spice level Bell pepper- 1, sliced Tomatoes- 4 medium, sliced Garlic- 2 tsps Cumin- 2 tsps Paprika- 1 tsp Oil- 1 tbsp Salt- to taste

To garnish

Red chilli flakes Cheddar cheese Parsley


1. Heat up the oil and fry the onion till golden brown by constantly stirring. Now add the chillies and garlic, stir constantly for around 2 minutes.



2. Add the cumin and paprika and mix well till the raw smell goes away.


3. Now add the cut bell peppers, mix well.


4. In a bowl, mash the tomatoes slightly with the back of your ladle and add this to the skillet. Add about 1/4 cup of water. Take care not to add too much since the tomato has a lot of water too.


5. Let this cook for about 5 minutes. With the back of your ladle, make 4 dents in this mixture where you can drop the eggs. Crack open the eggs into these dents. Cover the sides of the egg with some of the mixture.


6. Let this cook for about 5 minutes or so. You can cover the skillet and cook. Garnish with red chilli flakes, cheddar cheese and some parsley.



Serve hot with warm pita bread. You can also serve this with a side of fresh home made hummus.

Bread upma

I get bored of bread very easily and often look for ways to spice it up and make it interesting. As a kid, my mom used to make this delicious form of bread upma which I used to pack and take to school. It is an easy breakfast item, or a quick snack for tea time. I made some this morning and it was so delish.

20140420-210822.jpg Ingredients Serves 2

Bread- 6 pieces, cubed Onion- 1 cup Tomato- 2 Chillies- 1 Turmeric powder- a pinch Oil- 2 tsp Salt- to taste


1. Slice the bread and cut into cubes. I like the crusts but some people don't. If you like it, keep them, or else remove the crusts.


2. Cut the onion, tomato, and chilli.


3. Heat oil, add the onion and fry. Add the chillies and the tomatoes. Next, add the turmeric and fry for a minute. Now, add the bread. Coat the mixture on bread and serve hot with a cuppa tea or coffee.




Spring Smoothie

Inspired by my mango lassi, I decided to make a banana smoothie this morning. We had got some bananas for Vishu last week, and I'm really not a fan of munching on a banana. So the bananas sat on my kitchen sill and they were beginning to ripen a bit too much. Moreover, I had some strawberries in my fridge which needed to be consumed immediately. The result: my spring smoothie! photo1

Ingredients Serves 2

Bananas- 4 Strawberries- 6 nos Milk- 1 cup


Blend the bananas, strawberry and the milk together. Check taste. If sweet is a little less, then add sugar.



Homemade dosas (Rice Pancake)

I am a dosa lover. I have grown up eating huge dosas, called as paper dosas back in South India. They are huge. Like this: photo (2)


Dosas are made from a rice batter. At home, my dad makes this batter on a Sunday and it lasts for a week. We have a mixer which helps make this batter. Everyday morning for breakfast, he used to make me these gorgeous looking dosas. So delicious.

In LA, you do get dosas at some Indian restaurants- such as Mayura Amrit, Culver City and India Sweets and Spices (ISS), Glendale. The ISS also has frozen dosa batter as well as fresh dosa batter. Their fresh batter is pretty decent, but I don't live near Glendale and you can't really make that commute often to get the batter. So, I decided to start making my own batter at home. This is pretty simple enough if you have a food processor.


Rice flour- 1 cup Urad dal- 1 cup Water- 4 cups Salt


1. Soak the urad dal in 2 cups water overnight.



2. Soak the rice flour in 2 cups water overnight. 3. Once the urad dal has been soaked overnight, put it in the food processor and make a smooth paste.

photo (3)


4. Mix the smooth paste with the soaked rice flour. Add salt.

photo (1)


There you go- dosa batter is ready!

To make dosas

1. Make sure the batter is at room temperature. 2. Heat a flat iron skillet, sprinkle some cooking oil and smoothen it out on the flat surface. 3. Take the batter in a round bottom spoon, and pour it in the middle of the skillet. With rolling motion, spread it out concentrically. 4. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes till the bottom becomes brown and crisp. 5. Flip it over using a flat spoon and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. 6. Serve hot with pickle, and cilantro chutney.

photo (2)