Murder & Masala Dosas

Apologies to all my blog readers for not posting a recipe this week. My parents, grandma and aunt are visiting from India and most of my extended family lives within an hour from home, making spontaneous family meals & sleep-overs a frequent occurrence. This means constant grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, eating, gossip & laughs over many cups of tea. Add to the mix two whole days spent trying to get passports renewed, and some end-of-school activities for a child leaving elementary school and another graduating high-school (sniff!! sob!!) – my short-lived resolve to be more organized and prepared flew out the window without a whimper! Our 23rd anniversary and my husband’s birthday is this weekend – YAY!!!. I’ve experimented with a raw Cashew & Raspberry Cake for the occasion and will share the recipe next week if it is a hit (heck, I might share it even if it is a miss – it looks so pretty!!). In the meantime, I’m sharing some weekend reading if you are interested.  Enjoy your weekend folks.

The article is about P. Rajagopal, the founder of Saravana Bhavan – the famous South-Indian vegetarian chain restaurant. . Very interesting read.


Please visit and LIKE my Facebook page for more interesting articles, tips & videos that I might not share on the blog. It is also an easier and quicker way to contact & get replies from me as I check it more often.


Easiest Baked Chicken Meatballs

Easiest Baked Chicken Meatballs

This is seriously one of the easiest appetizer to have on hand. The first time I attempted it was on a whim; I had all the ingredients out and thought of experimenting. It was definitely a hit! I make a batch of uncooked meatballs and freeze them for quick snacks or for entertaining. The Costco bag of organic skinless boneless chicken thighs work well as I find it more flavorful and moist than chicken breast, but you could use either.

The best way to mince the chicken at home is to cut it into medium cubes and freeze for about 15-20 minutes ONLY till well chilled. Then, fill food processor half-way and pulse till you get a fine mince.

Easy Baked Chicken Meatballs 

(About 50 1-inch meatballs)

  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs (dry thoroughly if washed)
  • 1 medium onion – peeled & quartered
  • 1 inch ginger – peeled & rough chopped
  • 2 big garlic cloves – peeled
  • 1/2 cup cilantro – washed & drained well
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves – washed & drained well
  • 4-6 green chillies
  • salt to taste **
  • cookie tray
  • wax paper

1) Mince the chicken according to instructions above. Set aside in a large bowl.

2) In the same food processor bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and pulse the food processor till everything is chopped fine. Make sure not to over process as the onions will start to release moisture. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times.

3) Add the onion mixture and salt to the chicken and mix well.

4) Line a large cookie tray with wax / parchment paper

5) Shape into 1-inch balls and lay on the cookie tray, making sure they do not touch. Freeze for 2 hours.

6) Remove the meatballs from the tray into a freezer ziplock and store back in the freezer. (Freezing on a cookie sheet first ensures that the meatballs do not clump together in the freezer.)

7) To cook frozen meatballs, preheat oven to 350* F and bake on a greased pan for 15-18 mins. If cooking thawed, reduce cooking time to 12-15 minutes.

** To check if I have added enough salt, I cook  about a teaspoon of the mix in the microwave and taste before forming all into balls.

Fig & Dates Barfi

Fig & Dates Barfi

Helloooo…. anybody out there still reading my blog?

The last few months have been so busy, and I kind of lost track of how the time was flying. In fact, I find it hard to accept that we are at the end of October already. People are making Thanksgiving & Christmas plans!!! Coming out of summer vacation and back-to-school, I’ve sat at the computer couple times and drawn a blank when I had to post my recipes. But I’m finally getting back on track, and have lined up a few yummy, easy recipes for the Diwali and holiday season. I promise to try and update my blog at least once a week and share seasonal recipes as often as possible. Hope you all enjoy the next batch of Indian sweets I will be putting up.


The first in the series is a Fig & Dates Barfi that is made without any processed sugar. It takes 15-20 minutes to make, and it is delicious! It can be made ahead of time, and works well for boxing as gifts.

Fig & Dates Barfi

Fig & Dates Barfi

(Makes 16 2X2-inch pieces)

  • 1 1/2 cups dry figs / anjeer – (about 15-18)
  • 1  1/2 cups seeded dates / khajoor – (about 35-40)
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup pistachio
  • 1/3 cup ghee / clarified butter
  • Edible silver foil (optional)

1) Soak figs in about a cup of hot water for about 5 minutes. Add dates to same bowl and soak for another 2-3 minutes till they are all soft and plump.

2) While fruit is soaking, heat a small pan on medium, and lightly toast the nuts separately for 2-3 minutes each, stirring constantly. Remove to a bowl and cool.

3) Coarsely chop all the nuts by hand or in a food processor, and set aside.

4) Drain the figs & dates (reserving the water),  and puree in the same food processor jar as the nuts. Add a  little of the reserved water only if needed.

5) Grease an 8X8 pan, or line it with a double layer of parchment paper so that the edges hang outside like a handle. Set aside.

6) Heat a heavy bottomed, wide pan on medium and add ghee.

7) When ghee melts, add the fig & dates puree and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly and making sure not to burn it.

8) When it seems like there is not more moisture in the mixture, and it starts to leave the sides of the pan, add the chopped nuts and mix well.

9) Cook another 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly and watching to make sure the mixture does not burn.

10) Remove from heat. Pour into the greased bowl and press lightly into the edges, and to flatten top. Allow it to cool completely.

11) Top with edible silver foil, and cut into 16 squares.

Fig & Dates Barfi

Here’s another closeup. Bars can be stored in an airtight box for about a week.