Category Archives: Indian

Pav Bhaji Recipe – A Vegetarian Mumbai Street Food

pav bhaji streetfood

There’s a strong tradition in countries with high population metropolitan areas (such as India) of street food.  This is economical food, using ingredients for their ease of availability and affordability.  While America doesn’t really have a huge tradition of ‘street food’ per se (unless you count the food truck craze of the last decade or so), there’s a lot to be learned from street food in other cultures, easily incorporated into a modern American kitchen.  Pav bhaji is a street food using the most ubiquitous of ingredients, white bread, specifically a type of roll.  This pav bhaji recipe is essentially an economical, tasty and spicy quick and easy vegetarian curry (I have other curry recipes too).

assembled ingredients

Pav bhaji (depending on how you feel about butter; you could omit it if you want) is fairly nutritious.  The basis of the sauce is freshly cooked vegetables, blended and simmered with Indian spices (there’s abundant evidence that spices have a number of health benefits, particularly for their anti-cancer properties).

cooking carrots onions

Saute the chopped onion, carrots and cauliflower in a little oil in a nonstick pan, until they begin to soften.

adding peas

At this point add chopped tomato and peas.  Continue to cook.

pav bhaji masala

Add the pav bhaji masala.  For mine I used equal proportions of cayenne pepper and garam masala (here’s my garam masala recipe).  You want the pav bhaji to be assertively spicy.

immersion blender

Next, add the vegetable mixture to a high sided glass or container and blend with an immersion blender (pretty much one of the most useful tools you could have in any kitchen).  Be careful not to splatter any hot sauce on yourself.  Blend until smooth.

adding the bread

Add the vegetable mixture back to your pan, add a little butter and the chopped bread (if you toast the bread just a bit before you add it then it won’t get so soggy).  Mix quickly and serve warm.  Easy!

If you like this pav bhaji recipe be sure and check out some of my other curry recipes.  I’m a self-admitted curry freak.

The ingredients:

  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • a few knobs of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups chopped white bread rolls

Tomato Rasam – an Indian Vegetarian Spiced Soup

Indian rasam recipe

Rasam is a type of South Indian soup, well spiced, usually made with a base of either tamarind or tomato.  ‘Rasam’ itself means ‘juice,’ meaning that a large part of the umami flavor derives from the juice of the tamarind or tomato used in the soup, in addition to the spices.  This particular recipe for rasam uses tomato as the key ingredient.  In the future I will post a tamarind rasam recipe.

Tomato and red onion

The key to this dish is using tomato and red onion to their full effect, cooking them to bring out their sweet and rich flavors.

Toasting spices

In addition to the red onion and tomato, you also need an abundance of spices.  I used a whole dried chile, whole cinnamon (not cassia, but true cinnamon), bay leaf, whole cloves, ground mustard powder, coriander and cumin, as well as amchoor.

toasted spices

After the spices are dry toasted in your pot (the aroma will be enthralling), set them aside.  Toasting the spices is an essential step.  This wakes up the flavor of the spices.

Cooking tomato and onion

Next, dry fry the tomato and red onions in the same pot until they begin to brown.  Don’t burn them, but you want to get them pretty browned to develop the flavor.

Ginger and Garlic

Grate ginger and chop garlic.  It’s usually easier to grate the ginger if you freeze it.  When I do that I don’t even bother to peel it.

Adding ginger and garlic

Once the tomato and red onions are beginning to brown add the ginger and garlic and a little bit of oil.  Stir and cook for several minutes.

Adding the spices

Next, add the toasted spices, then mix well.

Pouring Vegetable Broth

Finally, pour in your favorite vegetable broth (yes, I used boxed veggie broth; it’s ok you can do that sort of thing sometimes).  Bring to a gentle boil and let it simmer for about ten minutes.  Add salt and pepper and diced cilantro before serving the tomato rasam.

The ingredients:

  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1/2 small red onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 or 3 cloves diced garlic
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a few cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground amchuur
  • 1 dried red chile
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced cilantro

Tomato rasam makes a great starter dish for any Indian curry meal.   Don’t be afraid to try something new!


Cilantro Mint Chutney

mint chutney

Mint is a weed.  At least, it is in my backyard.  I love the idea of edible weeds, though.  Where I live cilantro really doesn’t do all that well.  It always ends up bolting long before I can get any appreciable amount.  Mint, however, is king in my backyard.  I’m rather averse to general lawn maintenance anyway, so it’s not a bad thing.  We have at least two large patches of mint growing wild in our backyard, plenty for making some Cilantro Mint Chutney.

backyard mint

There it is.  Glorious, cooling mint in all its wild and natural beauty.  Isn’t it lovely?  It’s great for making Morrocan Mint Tea, as well.

adding ginger, onions and garlic

For the chutney just add half a small white onion, grated frozen ginger and garlic to a food processor.


Process until the onion is in little chunks.  You don’t want to make a paste, so be careful.  It’s best to do it in pulses until it’s just the right texture you’re going for.  I prefer mine a little on the chunkier rather than smoother side.

Adding mint and cilantro

Then add the cilantro and mint (about a cup each), a  little sugar, spices (cumin, ground mustard, a hint of nutmeg, a little salt and pepper), vinegar, lime juice, and a little olive oil and finally a jalapeno if you want to make it spicy.  That’s a totally optional step.

Process again until it’s chunky-smooth.  Pretty sure I made that up.

It goes really well with Grilled Tandoori Chicken.

The ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh mint (from your backyard if you have it!)
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated frozen ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (approximate) lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (optional)

The cooling effect of the Cilantro Mint Chutney is a nice counterpoint to the spiciness of Indian curries.

It’s easy!  Let me know what you think if you try making this.  As always, repin and follow!

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

tandoori chicken recipe

Tandoors, the big clay ovens that they use to cook Tandoori chicken in India, are awesome.  Unfortunately, they’re also pretty rare in the States, unless you build one yourself.  However, if you have a grill, it’s pretty easy to make a fairly decent and delicious Grilled Tandoori Chicken.

A few of the spices I use are a little more exotic, but not prohibitively so.  Make substitutions if you have to.

Tandoori spices

Like I mentioned in my last post, I was recently given some Chimayo Chile powder by my friend Mike.  I couldn’t resist using some to make this tandoori chicken.  It made the chicken spicy and a little sweet.

You’ll want to assemble your ingredients, including ginger, garlic and spices (ground amchoor, kala jeera, mustard powder, ground coriander, curry powder and finally chile powder, cayenne pepper or paprika, depending on how hot you want the spice mixture to be).

Fresh Tyson chicken

You’ll need chicken too.  I prefer drumsticks for tandoori chicken.  Chicken on the bone just tastes better.

Mixing tandoori spices

Mix the spices together.  You’ll want to add a little salt and pepper as well.

Tandoori spices

Then just add yogurt, lemon juice and the spice mixture to the chicken in a bowl.  Add diced garlic and grated ginger.

Yogurt spice marinade

Mix thoroughly.

Grilling the chicken

If you want it a little spicier you can add a diced jalapeno (I grilled some jalapeno for garnish) or you can sprinkle more chile powder on the chicken while it’s on the grill.  Marinate the meat for at least an hour.  You’ll want to leave the meat out, covered for at least 20 minutes to let it warm up to room temperature.   Grilling cold meat is just a bad idea, in general.   The yogurt mixture will make the meat tender and juicy.  Grill until the outside of the chicken is a crispy and browned (about 20 minutes).

The ingredients:

  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Chimayo chile powder (or paprika or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kala jeera seeds
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 garlic clove diced
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

It’s easy to make Grilled Tandoori Chicken.  Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make a delicious  Mint Cilantro Chutney to cut the heat.

Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower

Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower

My buddy Mike recently bought me some Chimayo Chile powder from Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico.  The Chimayo heirloom chile variety is sweeter and more earthy than most paprikas.  I couldn’t resist using its spicy earthiness in an easy Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower recipe.

Cauliflower is often overlooked as a vegetable side dish, but if treated right, can be transformed into something delicious.  Rather than frying the cauliflower florets, I opted for drizzling olive oil and coating them with an Indian spice mixture before grilling.

Chopped cauliflower

Garam masala, nutmeg, Chimayo chile, ground coriander and amchoor (sometimes spelled amchur; it’s essentially a dried green mango that’s ground into a fine powder, lending a tartness to any dish) add layers of spicy complexity to the cauliflower.  One of the main objections many people have to cauliflower is also one of its strengths.  While it may seem like a bland vegetable, that only allows it to more readily absorb flavors.

Spice equals flavor.


After coating with the spice mixture I simply grilled the cauliflower over a medium high heat for about twenty minutes.  Be careful though.  The particular grill I was using had some flair-ups, which you want to avoid if possible.  It’s very easy to burn vegetables if you’re not careful.

And that’s it.  The magic of the Maillard reaction and twenty minutes later you have delicious Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower.  An option, if you want them a little less dry, is to spoon a spice mixture (just make twice as much) plus yogurt sauce on top of the cauliflower about halfway through.  A little salt and pepper and it’s complete.

The ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chimayo chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor
  • salt and pepper to taste

This makes a great Paleo side option, if you’re exploring that diet.  Let me know if you dig the recipe.  I love to hear from you.

Indian Spice Baked Okra Recipe or Yes, You Can Really Do That

curry okra

Okra is slimy!  That’s the usual objection to eating okra, the texture more than the flavor.  While that texture can be an asset in some dishes (like gumbo), we don’t necessarily need or want it in other contexts.  The easiest way to transform okra from slimy to crispy would be to fry it.  But if eating healthier is a concern (as it should be) then there’s an easy alternative to frying.  This Indian Spice baked okra recipe is a delicious and easy way to use up all that okra in your Summer garden.

exotic spices

As with most other Indian inspired dishes (hello, curry!) this okra recipe begins with spices, a mixture of whole and ground spices.  For this dish I used ground mustard, amchoor, whole fennel, whole kala jeera and coarsely ground cardamom.  Simply add all of the spices to a small bowl and mix well.

slice okra

Slice the fresh okra on a bias, removing the ends.  You want them as long and thin as you can get them.  This helps them crisp up.

grating ginger

Grate frozen ginger onto the sliced okra with a micro-planer.

adding Indian spices

Add the olive oil and the spice mixture.

adding garlic and olive oil

Add the chopped garlic then mix well, coating all of the okra well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

on a baking sheet

Lay out on a baking sheet.  Elevate it from the cooking sheet using a wire drying rack like this, if you can.  When the air circulates underneath it helps crisp up the okra.

Bake for at least 30 minutes at 450 degrees.  You may need to take the okra out about halfway through and turn everything over.  Otherwise you’ll end up with less than crisp okra.  Not a disaster, but not quite what we’re going for here.

The ingredients:

  •  1 teaspoon ground mustard
  •  1 teaspoon ground amchoor (dried and ground green mango)
  •  1/2 teaspoon whole fennel
  •  1/2 teaspoon kala jeera
  •  1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground cardamom
  •  salt and pepper to taste (use the salt sparingly)
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  2 cups thinly sliced okra, cut on a bias
  •  1 tablespoon grated frozen ginger
  •  2 garlic cloves, diced

The aroma as this comes out of the oven will almost knock you over.  The spices become very aromatic as the okra bakes, perfuming the whole kitchen.  It’s best to eat these warm.

Let me know if you try this Indian Spice baked okra recipe, and what you think. What other vegetables could you bake like this?  If you like this okra recipe, you might check out my okra and green pepper socca recipe here.


Healthy Chicken Curry

healthy chicken curry recipe

I’m something of a curry fanatic.  I love a good curry.  Any chance we have to visit an Indian buffet or a Thai restaurant I usually end up eating large quantities of curry.  It’s great fun, but sometimes curry sauces can be rich with a somewhat large amount of fat.  I wanted to come up with a recipe that would have plenty of curry flavor, but be healthier in most regards.  So I came up with my Healthy Chicken Curry recipe.

This recipe uses the remainder of the vegan raw marinara sauce from the other day.  It also uses my homemade Thai curry paste, as well as curry powder.  Curry powder is packed with turmeric, which has powerful anticancer properties. In keeping with the health theme, I opted to serve the curry over spiralized zucchini noodles instead of rice.

The technique:

Assemble your ingredients.

curry ingredients

Besides the red curry paste and the raw marinara sauce, you’ll also need vegetables to fry (keeping with the red theme, I used red pepper and cherry tomatoes), curry powder and olive oil.

frying vegetables

Fry the vegetables in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil until they begin to caramelize.

adding curry powder and curry paste

Then add the curry paste and curry powder.

spiralized zucchini

At this time you’ll want to spiralize your zucchini into noodles.

curry sauce

Add the reserved raw marinara sauce and mix well, bringing it to a boil

cooking chicken in the sauce

From here it’s as simple as adding your sliced chicken to the boiling sauce, reducing the heat and letting it simmer for about five minutes so that the chicken has time to cook through.  I wanted my healthy chicken curry a little on the creamy side, so I added two tablespoons of milk at the end and mixed well.  You could omit that step if you’re avoiding dairy, of course.  This healthy chicken curry is a little on the spicy side (you can make it spicier if you add more curry paste).

The ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • zucchini spiralized noodles



Easy Tikka Masala Sauce

tikka masala sauce

So what’s chicken tikka without tikka masala sauce, right?  I’m kind of a sauce nut, I admit.  If it’s spicy, a little creamy, with a smooth texture I’m in heaven.  This is the easiest way that I’ve found to make a good tikka masala sauce.

The ingredients:

Remember the marinade we made for the chicken tikka?  We set aside half of it to use in this sauce.  Here’s what you do.

First, dice half a small red onion and fry in olive oil in a small pot, like so:


When the onions are beginning to turn translucent add half of the reserved marinade.  Stir and cook over a medium heat for about five minutes.

Transfer onions and sauce to a large glass.  Add one small tomato or four larger cherry tomatoes.  Blend with an immersion blender until smooth, then transfer back to the pot.  Cook for another three or four minutes.

Reduce the heat and add the rest of the reserved marinade and a little milk.  Stir and serve with the chicken tikka.

The ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup reserved tikka masala marinade
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk or half-n-half

I hope you like the recipe.  If you try it out, be sure and let me know.  You can connect with me at @oneworldplate on twitter.

Easy Tikka Masala Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce recipe
Cuisine: Indian
Tikka masala sauce is actually very easy to make. Much easier than you'd expect. And it goes well with chicken tikka as well.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup reserved tikka masala marinade
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup milk or half-n-half
  1. Dice red onion.
  2. Cook in olive oil until translucent.
  3. Add half the reserved marinade.
  4. Cook for several minutes.
  5. Transfer to a large glass and add tomato.
  6. Blend with an immersion blender, then add back to the pot.
  7. Cook for another few minutes.
  8. Reduce heat and add the rest of the marinade and milk.
  9. Serve with chicken tikka.


Grilled Red Pepper Chicken Tikka

chicken tikka

I’ve been dissatisfied with my past attempts at making chicken tikka, I confess.  It’s never quite tasted ‘peppery’ enough to me.  Then it hit me one day.  Red bell pepper.  IN the yogurt marinade.  Brilliant.

But what about cooking in a tandoor?  A typical household oven doesn’t really get to quite the temperatures that a tandoor can.  Grilling, however, will produce a very similar result.

The technique:

First, assemble the ingredients for your marinade.  We will end up reserving half the marinade to use in our tikka masala sauce, which is cooked separate from the chicken.  There’s no cross contamination, so don’t worry about that.

Mix together yogurt (I used Oikos, because it’s awesome), lemon juice, a clove of garlic, grated frozen ginger, red bell pepper, olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, garam masala, paprika and a little water.  Blend with an immersion blender until it’s a smooth sauce.

mis en place

It should be close to two cups.  Chop two chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, then marinate in one cup of marinade, for at least 30 minutes.

chicken marinate

Add the chicken to bamboo skewers (which have been soaking in water for a while).  Dust with more paprika.

chicken skewers

Grill for at least 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the temperature of your fire.

grilled chicken

The ingredients:

  • 1 cup Oikos yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon grated frozen ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup of red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into pieces

Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make an amazing curry sauce to go along with this chicken tikka recipe.

Grilled Red Pepper Chicken Tikka
Recipe type: grilled chicken
Cuisine: Indian
A marinade with red bell peppers and grilling makes an amazing chicken tikka recipe.
  • 1 cup Oikos yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon grated frozen ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup of red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  1. Assemble ingredients (other than chicken) and blend until a smooth sauce.
  2. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
  3. Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Add chicken to bamboo or metal skewers.
  5. Grill chicken until done.


Indian Food Recipes Roundup

Indian food recipes

This roundup of Indian food recipes that I’ve featured on oneworldplate will make it easier for you to make an Indian feast.  With a few spices, some humble ingredients and few more exotic ones, and the proper technique, I believe almost anyone could make a wonderful Indian meal.

The Indian Food Recipes:

Rice Pilau– A fragrant and spicy rice dish.

Garam Masala– An essential spice mix when you’re cooking Indian food.

Chana dal– A spiced chickpea dish.

Coconut Rice– A variation on rice, easy and delicious.

Mung bean lentil dal– A vegetarian side dish that’s yummy and nutritious.

Carrot ginger halva–  Carrots’ natural sweetness make a wonderful dessert.

Butter chicken– An easy chicken curry with sauce recipe.

Oven fried masala chicken– A cool way to make spicy chicken lowfat.

Lemon lime tamarind chutney–  A delicious tart and sweet condiment.

Palak paneer–  A delicious side dish featuring cheese and spinach.

Roti– Bread that’s easy to make and delicious.

Carrot mushroom curry– A vegetarian dish that features carrots and mushrooms.

If you try any of these, and enjoy them, please let me know.  They’re all much easier to cook than you’d believe.  If you like Indian food, but want a healthier option, try my Healthy Chicken Curry recipe.