Mushroom Couscous

This dish is inspired from Show Me The Curry. While rice and curry has always been my preferred choice for lunch, some days I am either too lazy to cook an elaborate meal or there is no time or I am just too bored of rice! On such days I get a bit adventurous, googling my head off, trying to find a recipe that is easy, healthy and filling. This dish was born on one such day :P I have a big pack of couscous in my pantry so I thought of using it and browsing through several recipes, I stumbled on this version of couscous where it is flavored with mushroom and garlic.

Mushroom and garlic is an amazing combination and I simple love the umami flavor that mushroom lends to any dish it is added so I immediately ran to my kitchen and cooked this dish up :) And it was packed with flavor, so easy to make…my lunch was ready in no time. My son enjoyed it as well so that was a huge plus! As I progress through my journey of motherhood, I realize that feeding a toddler is no easy feat :-S I paired this couscous with sautéed mushroom and spinach. A squeeze of lemon at the end and it turned out great.

If you are new to couscous, it is time you tried it as it is by far one of the easiest things to cook! Take one volume of couscous in a deep bowl. Add one volume of boiling hot water seasoned with salt, pour it over the couscous, cover the bowl and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. That is all! When it is done fluff it gently with a fork and add a blob of butter if you like, for added flavor and to separate the grains better. It pairs up well with any gravy or can be used as an ingredient in salads. Very versatile. If you do not like the flavor of mushroom, you can try adding any other vegetable broth of your choice. Enjoy!

Recipe: Mushroom Couscous

  • Couscous - 1/2 cup
  • Button mushrooms - a handful (roughly 5 -6), sliced
  • Water - 1/2 cup + 1 or 2 tbsp
  • Baby spinach - 1/2 cup or more as required
  • Garlic - 4 cloves crushed
  • Butter  or olive oil - as required
  • Salt, pepper and any dried herb of your choice - for seasoning, to taste
  • Lemon wedges for serving

  • Take couscous in a deep bowl and set it aside.
  • Prepare the mushroom broth. In a pan, warm some butter or olive oil and then add the sliced mushrooms. Saute on a high heat till they begin to brown. Then add the water. Season with salt, pepper and dried herbs (I used dried parsley and thyme). Let it come to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for few minutes to extract the flavor of the mushrooms.
  • Once done, strain it and you should have half a cup of mushroom broth.
  • Pour this hot broth over the couscous. Stir it lightly with a fork and cover the bowl tightly with cling film or a lid. Leave it for 5 minutes or as instructed on the pack. After the required time, fluff it gently and you can add more butter if you like.
  • In another pan, warm some butter or olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and sauté well till they begin to brown. Do not burn the garlic as that will spoil the flavour. To this add the strained mushrooms and some baby spinach. Saute for few minutes on high heat till the spinach wilts. Pour the mixture over the cooked couscous. Squeeze some lemon on top and serve it hot.

Lauki Sabzi

Pressure cooker seems to be my favorite cooking vessel for now :D It just makes my life so much more easier! Just chop, mix, sauté and seal and after few whistles your dish is ready… So pressure cooker friendly recipes are very enticing to me right now. And this is another one of those easy peasy recipes.

Lauki or bottle gourd is something that I don't buy very often. But after having tried this recipe for couple of times it has become part of my weekly grocery shopping list. Easy to prep and takes less time to cook; so its a very handy ingredient. There is a very unique flavor when you add lauki and I enjoy it with both rotis and rice equally.

Don't get fooled by the white, pale appearance as these are quite nutritious. Low in calories and fat, high in fibre - they are easy to digest preventing constipation and also offer various other health benefits like reducing high blood pressure, improving liver function and is very heart friendly. Nice, is it not? 

Lauki Sabzi Recipe:

  • Lauki / Bottle gourd - About 300gm, washed, peeled and cubed
  • Onion - 1 medium finely chopped
  • Tomatoes - 2 medium chopped
  • Green chilly - 1 small slit
  • Garlic - 4 cloves crushed
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida - 1 big pinch
  • Kasoori methi - 1/2 tsp crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • Water - about 1/4 cup
  • Coriander leaves - chopped for garnish
  • Ghee or clarified butter - 1 tbsp
  • Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds. When they splutter add the asafoetida, onion, garlic and green chilly. Saute well till the onions become translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they get mushy.
  • Add the spices i.e. turmeric, chili and coriander powders followed by salt to taste. Give it a quick mix.
  • Add the cubed bottle gourd or lauki and mix well. Pour enough water (this will depend on the consistency you want. I used about 3/4 cup). Let it simmer.
  • Once it begins to boil put the lid on and cook for 2 whistles.
  • After the pressure is let out, open the lid and simmer again. Garnish with chopped cilantro if you like.Serve hot with rotis or rice. 

Palak Paneer

#Throwback #Repost #Favourite

This is a very simple (and ever so popular North Indian dish; also called Palak Paneer) which I love to make for a quick dinner. I used to refer to other recipes to make this (once upon a time!) but then I found my own simple way of making this and have stuck to it ever since. As I have mentioned before, for me the secret to cooking greens is always keeping it minimal i.e. very less spices or ingredients. Greens have a fantastic flavour of their own and the dish turns out well when this flavour predominates - at least that is my humble view on the subject!

Below is the nutritional profile for spinach (source: WHF Foods):

Can you even believe the amount of nutrients this humble food offers?! Spinach is always thought of as a rich source of iron - thanks to Popeye! But if you have a look at the above table you can see that that is not all. In fact it is ranked as one of world's healthiest foods. Good old spinach!! So let's stop running after fancy ingredients and include more of this wonderful 'green' in our diet; this recipe is a great way to start :) 

Palak Paneer: Recipe

  • Fresh Spinach (or Palak): 2 bunches chopped (roughly 3 - 4 cups)
  • Cottage Cheese (or Paneer) - 250 gms cubed or diced
  • Green chillies - 2 slit
  • Onion - 1 small finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger paste - 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic paste - 1/4 tsp
  • Cashew nuts - 6 to 8 roughly chopped
  • Low fat Milk - less than 1/4 cup 
  • Oil  - 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Cream to garnish

  1. Heat little oil in a skillet. Fry the cashews for a while followed by the chopped onions and the green chillies. 
  2. When the onions are translucent, add the chopped spinach and stir fry for few minutes. Set aside to cool and then grind this into a fine gravy.
  3. Heat oil again. Add the cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add the ginger and garlic paste. Saute for couple of minutes and then add this gravy (Add a little water to wipe clean your grinder jar and pour this also. That will fix the consistency). Simmer for few minutes.
  4. To this add milk and salt to taste. Simmer for few seconds and then add the cubed cottage cheese or paneer.
  5. Cover and simmer for few minutes till the gravy is nicely absorbed by the paneer. Garnish with cream and serve hot with rotis.

Linking this to my on going event Gimme GREEN!Cuisine Delights - Holi event, Comfort Food by Resh, Holi event by Sizzling Tastebuds


I am falling in love with Greek cuisine! Such fresh food with amazing flavors. You always feel that you are eating healthy! I was always under the impression that Greek veg is all about salads but I am so wrong. It was one of my lazzzy days which is normally defined as - me being super hungry but super lazy to cook anything :D I was really picking my brains wondering what I could cook that would be easy and both me and my son would enjoy. Scouring through the items in my fridge it had to be something I could do with spinach (as I had loads of it) and lemons. I was thinking of making the regular Indian spinach rice when I stumbled upon the name Spanakorizo - how cute does it sound! Intrigued I started browsing and finally ended up having it for lunch.

It is super easy and yummy! Great item to pack for kids' lunch boxes or if you want to cook up something real quick that is not only tasty but nutritious. My son loved it and I am really happy coz spinach is a super food that is always ignored. This is just my version. I don't know what the authentic recipe is but most recipes I saw on the net seem similar with just few minor changes.

 Give this a try if you have never tried spinach rice before. I am sure you will get hooked soon ;)

Spanakorizo Recipe:


  • Basmati rice - 3/4 cup, washed, drained and soaked in about 2 cups of clean water
  • Baby spinach - 2 cups - washed and chopped finely
  • Garlic - 2 small, minced
  • Tomato puree - 1.5 to 2 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper - for seasoning, to taste
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  • Parsley - few sprigs finely chopped, to garnish
  • Feta cheese - 1/4 cup or more crumbled, to garnish


  • Warm olive oil in a non stick pan and add the minced garlic. When it begins to brown add the chopped spinach. Cook on high flame, stirring frequently till the water evaporates.
  • Turn the heat. Add the tomato puree. Saute for few minutes.
  • Add the soaked basmati rice with the water. Season with salt and pepper. Taste the water and adjust the seasoning. You can also add some dried herbs if you want to increase the flavor.
  • Cover and cook undisturbed for about 15 minutes. Cook till all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Cover and leave it to rest for about 5 minutes and serve warm with few lemon wedges, if desired.

Dum Aloo

This is a very easy recipe but maybe a bit time consuming. Normally, the potatoes have to be deep fried which is something that I do not prefer. I came across the Show me the curry version where they are steaming the potatoes and then grilling them in the oven to give it a crisp skin. I have tried that once and it has come out pretty well I must say!  But this time I thought why not just grill it directly - so I scrubbed the potatoes and grilled them with the skin on and it tasted really good. This dish goes extremely well with steamed rice and curd.

If you do not have baby potatoes in hand you could use the normal potatoes. I am quite sure that would not make a difference in the taste. My potatoes were left a bit too long in the oven so you can take them out as soon as they begin to turn golden brown. I have seen many recipes calling for lemon juice or yogurt but the gravy is pretty tangy due to the tomatoes and I have added some sugar to balance the flavors.

Dum Aloo: Recipe

  • Baby potatoes - about 10, scrubbed, washed and cut into halves or quarters.
  • Onion - 1 medium chopped
  • Tomatoes - 3 big chopped
  • Green chili -2 slit
  • Garlic - 4 cloves crushed
  • Ginger  - 1/2" crushed or finely chopped
  • Cream - 1.5 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1" stick
  • Cloves - 2 or 3
  • Salt to taste
  • Brown sugar - 1 tbsp or to taste
  • Ghee or oil - 1 tbsp and 1 tsp
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil - as required
  • Carom seeds or Shahi jeera - 1 tsp
  • Cilantro - chopped to garnish
  • Water - about 2.5 cups or more

  • Drizzle olive oil or any vegetable oil of your choice on the potatoes. Mix well. Place them flat on a baking tray and grill in the oven till they turn golden brown. Keep aside.
  • While the potatoes are getting cooked, heat oil in a skillet and add the onion, green chili, garlic and ginger. Saute well till the onion begins to brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook till they are soft.
  • Grind this onion tomato mixture to a fine paste and set aside.
  • Heat some more oil and add the carom seeds when oil is hot. When it splutters, add the cinnamon stick and the cloves. Fry for few seconds. Add the ground onion tomato paste.
  • Followed by the spice powders - turmeric, coriander, garam masala and red chili and also the salt. Saute well till it well cooked. The oil will begin to release from the sides.
  • Add the water  and simmer for few minutes so that the flavors are well combined.
  • Add the cream, mix well and simmer on low heat for few more minutes.
  • When the gravy begins to thicken add the grilled potatoes. Cover and cook for few minutes so that the potatoes absorb the flavors.
  • Add the sugar and stir well. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice.