clovesandcaramel

Indian Butter Chicken: Butter chicken (Murgh Makhani) is a deliciously sinful, rich and luscious chicken curry paired with the Basmati rice is a match made in heaven. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Butter Chicken

Anyone who has ever set foot in a roadside establishment called “Dhaba” knows this dish. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, dhabas are very common across India. Generally found on highways and outskirts of the city, they give people an opportunity to have a good time with family and friends in a very casual atmosphere unlike… Read more →

Chanticleer Cafe & Bakery review: Breakfast and evening snack place. Offers sandwiches, coffee, fresh fruit smoothies and other freshly baked goods. Sneha-Kattinti-Cloves-and-Caramel.com

Chanticleer Cafe Review

The husband and I made a last minute decision to have a quick getaway to the outer banks in North carolina for the memorial day weekend. It was quite unlike us. We generally make meticulous plans and neither of us like to do things on the fly. But we wanted to get out and decided to make the 7 hour… Read more →

Papdi Chaat : Popular Indian street food made with chickpea crisps, yogurt, sweet and hot sauce. Topped with spices and cilantro leaves. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Papdi Chaat

No matter which corner of the world you travel to, you are bound to run into an Indian. We are everywhere. The truth is we are dreamers, who will go to any place and any lengths in pursuit of our dreams. We face challenges and uncertainty with hope and hard work. We miss our home ¬†and our country a lot,… Read more →

Spicy and tangy lamb/ mutton curry made with tender meat and green curry sauce. If you love lamb and you love Indian food, then this dish is your destiny. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Gongura Mutton – Sorrel Lamb Curry

The amazing diversity of Indian cuisine is an apt representation of the diversity of the country. Over the centuries, every region of India has developed its signature dishes. Whether it is the¬†famous Hyderabadi biryani or the mumbai pav bhaji or bisibele bath from Karnataka, they have become¬†the specialty of the place. Sorrel or roselle as it is known in english… Read more →

Mango Shrikhand is made with yogurt / curd and fresh mango pulp. Flavored with cardamom and topped with almonds and pistachios.- www.clovesandcaramel.com

Mango Shrikhand – Amrakhand – Mango Yogurt Pudding

If you were a kid growing up in India, chances are – you would have gorged on¬†some of the best mangoes in the world. After living in the US for a few years, I can definitely say that I miss mangoes. I know it sounds funny, but trust me I do, and I am sure a lot of Indians in… Read more →

Carrot Cardamom Granola: Healthy carrot oats granola, flavored with cardamom. No refined sugars or added sweeteners. Quick and easy. Perfect for breakfast or as a healthy snack that you can adapt and customize. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Carrot Cardamom Granola

Today is the Spring equinox. The first day of the year, when the day equals night. It marks the beginning of longer days and new beginnings. I love breakfast. Not just because it is the first meal of the day, but also the most important meal of the day. I have been looking into healthy breakfast alternatives to the cereal… Read more →

Bedmi Aloo Sabzi: Made with sautéed golden potatoes, cooked in fresh tomato puree, spices and garnished with coriander leaves. A famous Delhi street food served with poori, roti or rice. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Bedmi Aloo Sabzi

The culinary landscape of India is as diverse as its populations. The cuisine changes drastically from the north to the south and east to the west. Every region is famous for its specialties. While the south Indian cuisine is dominated by the abundant use of spices, the north Indian cuisine is relatively less spicy. I¬†watch a lot of food and… Read more →

Beetroot salad with orange juice dressing : A savory healthy beetroot, carrot, coconut, apple, peanut salad with orange juice and curry powder dressing. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Beetroot Salad with Orange Juice Dressing

I was never fond of beets as a child. I used every excuse in the book to avoid the beetroot and lentil dal that mom made. I did not like the taste or the red colored lentils mixed with rice. Looking back, I find it very funny. Especially because I realize now, how healthy beets are for you. They are… Read more →

Chettinad Chicken: Chicken cooked in a spicy, aromatic gravy of freshly ground black pepper, roasted curry leaves and whole spices. An authentic and flavorful Tamil Nadu chicken curry.-www.clovesandcaramel.com

Chettinad Chicken

Spices are one of the most important ingredients of Indian cuisine. This is especially true in case of south India. The various spices used in south Indian cuisine are generally specific to the region. Chettinad is a district of southern Tamil Nadu region of India and home to a social caste of wealthy businessmen and merchants called the chettiars. This… Read more →

100% Whole wheat bread: This hearty, soft and fluffy bread is protein rich and healthy. Great with butter and is perfect for sandwiches. The perfect jump start to a day. www.clovesandcaramel.com

100% Whole Wheat Bread

As a child, one of my fondest memories was when I got a fever or a cold. It always meant skipping school and extra special care from mom. For the two days or two weeks that I was sick, I could pretty much get away with anything ūüėõ . I can still remember the one taste that almost everyone can… Read more →

Hearty delicious vegan stew made with lentil, sweet potatoes and collard greens. Topped with avocado, fresh lime juice and chili flakes. Perfect one pot vegetarian meal for a cold winter night. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Lentil sweet potato collard green stew

I have been reading about sustainable lifestyle and a zero waste home¬†for the past few weeks. The amount of information available online is amazing. I am not sure if I can ever get to the point of zero waste especially having a food blog ¬†ūüôā but I am making few changes around the house and to our lifestyle in general… Read more →

Crispy Baked Potato patties / Aloo tikki with fresh and healthy yogurt chive dipping sauce. The flavor and texture is fantastic! Plus, it takes only 20 minutes to make. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Baked Aloo Tikki with Yogurt Chive Dipping Sauce

It’s still a little cold but spring is just around the corner. Last summer, we planted a vegetable garden and grew peppers, basil, oregano and tomatoes. We couldn’t save our lawn last year but we will try to fix it this year. We have a lot of garlic chives growing in our backyard. I guess they’re just wild and grow… Read more →

Kale Whey Protein Shake : An antioxidant and protein boost. Made with berries, whey protein powder, chia seeds, pineapple and curly kale. It is creamy and perfect as a pre or post workout drink.-www.clovesandcaramel.com

Kale Whey Protein Shake

It’s a brand new year and that means new year resolutions and goals. One of my favorite books is The power of habit by Charles Duhigg. This book has helped me a lot in creating and sustaining many of the life changing habits that have improved me as a person. One¬†of these habits is to incorporate exercise¬†into my daily routine.… Read more →

Hariyali Chicken Biryani: Made with chicken cooked in mint, coriander, green onion masala and layered with whole spice flavorful basmati rice.-www.clovesandcaramel.com

Hariyali Chicken Biryani – Fresh Herb Marinated Chicken with rice

The new year always begins with the south Indian harvest festival of Sankrathi. It happened to fall last week and though we did not celebrate the festival, we decided to invite some friends over for dinner.I spent the whole day cleaning up and preparing for the dinner with help from the husband. We decided on a cheese platter for appetizer,… Read more →

30 minute, 1-pot chana masala : North Indian Chickpea dish cooked with fragrant spiced tomato onion gravy, along with green chili, cilantro and garam masala. Tastes great with rice or naan or poori ! [Vegan + GF] - www.clovesandcaramel.com

Chana masala / North Indian chickpea curry

The first week of 2017 started off with the first snowfall of the year. Well, it was all gone by the afternoon but it was pretty for a few hours ūüôā We woke up early and had a good breakfast. I went out and clicked some pictures of the snow and enjoyed it while it lasted. It had been raining… Read more →

This rich, royal Cottage cheese curry from Mughlai cuisine is pure indulgence. The best ever restaurant style Shahi matar paneer can now easily be made at home with with cashews, tomatoes, green peas and Indian spices. Pair it up with Naan or cumin rice.-www.clovesandcaramel.com

Shahi Matar Paneer / Cashew cottage cheese curry

Winter is the time of the year for happiness and celebrations and holiday cheer – and also terrible colds and sore throats apparently. ¬†Looks like the husband caught some cold from some colleague in office and was sure to “spread” the happiness around. Both of us woke up with a sore throat and ¬†a mean cold on Thursday. He was… Read more →

A healthier version of chocolate brownies. Made in a microwave using almond flour, chocolate, butter, and coconut sugar and topped with vanilla ice cream. Served with homemade simple raspberry sauce..www.clovesandcaramel.com

Chocolate brownie with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream

It was a super busy weekend with some cleaning up around the house followed by a couple of parties, one for a friend’s anniversary and the other a birthday and graduation party. We had a great time catching up with friends and making new ones. There was good food, wonderful conversations and kids running around. At the birthday party, I… Read more →

Traditional holiday soft and chewy oatmeal cranberry cookies made with breakfast cereal base, oats flour, coconut sugar and butter. Yum!-www.clovesandcaramel.com

Breakfast cereal oatmeal cranberry cookies

Breakfast cereal is one of those things that the husband cannot have enough of. Whenever we go grocery shopping, he’s going through the cereal aisle trying to decide on a new cereal. A few weeks ago, there was a sale and he bought like 5 boxes. He did not like 3 out of the 5 and they have been sitting… Read more →

South Indian sambar or lentil vegetable soup with freshly ground spices. Quick, flavorful, healthy and delicious. Tastes divine with vada or idly or rice. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Udupi Sambar – Lentil Vegetable Stew

It is the festive season. Christmas is just around the corner and it will be a brand new year very soon. This year has been a mixed bag. A lot of good things and a few not so good things. But hey, that is what life’s all about. Isn’t it ? You have to keep your optimism in tact and… Read more →

Pumpkin tarts : Made with baked whole wheat flour shells, stuffed with pumpkin puree and maple syrup topped with chopped caramelized pecans. A healthier spin on the Thanksgiving and fall classic. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Whole wheat Pumpkin Tarts topped with caramelized pecans

Fall reminds¬†us how beautiful it is, to let things go. This time of the year is full of happiness and cheer and everyone is looking forward to the christmas holidays and a brand new year. A fresh start with hopes and dreams, resolutions and promises to make the next year a much better one.¬†We got some really pretty string lights… Read more →

Chepala pulusu - Fish cooked in tamarind sauce and Indian spices. Topped with chopped green onions and cilantro. Easy to make and a spicy mouth watering dish. Made in less than 30 minutes. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Chepala Pulusu – Fish cooked in Tamarind Sauce

I have a new obsession now. It is fish – cooked in different forms. I have been trying different types of fish cooked multiple ways. I have always loved fish prepared¬†by my grandma. She makes an amazing fish fry. When we were young, she often made dal (lentils), rice and pan fried marinated spicy fish steaks. That flavor and the… Read more →

Whole roasted chicken with thyme, fennel and pepper. Stuffed with bread, chicken stock, fresh basil and pepper. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Whole roasted chicken with thyme and basil bread stuffing

Holidays are the best. They give us a chance to relax and spend time with the people we love. This weekend has been an awesome long weekend. Four days of having the husband at home means lots of food related discussions. Lots of requests for cooking this or that and it means lots of dishes. I wanted to cook a… Read more →

Creamy oven roasted potatoes with thyme and a quick sweet, tangy cranberry chutney with hints of orange. The perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Smash roasted potatoes and cranberry chutney

One of the main reasons I like winter is food. There is something about the cold weather that makes you crave for comforting food. Being in the US for the past few years, I have had a chance to enjoy colder winters compared to India and also had a chance to experience a culture and traditions that are new. Thanksgiving… Read more →

Lamb Keema (Lamb Mince Curry) - A traditional Indian curry dish made with Indian spices and topped fresh cilantro leaves. So delicious and comforting with plain rice or flatbread and great for the chilly weather ! - www.clovesandcaramel.com

Lamb keema – Minced lamb curry

Growing up, I never liked mutton or lamb. Chicken was my first choice followed by fish or shrimp occasionally. I didn’t like the texture of the meat and so did not enjoy it. After getting married, the husband who is a fan of all things meat related and edible, reintroduced it to me. On his insistence, I tried it a… Read more →

Schezwan egg fried rice: Spicy, full of flavor. Made with eggs, vegetables and rice in schezwan sauce. Ready in 15 minutes. Great way to use the leftover rice. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Schezwan egg fried rice

It has been 2 days, but I am still upset¬†about the election results. It is like I am going through the five stages of grief. It is hard to concentrate on stuff and get things done when there is something bothering you. The husband keeps insisting that he is in the last stage of acceptance but I don’t believe him.… Read more →

Chipotle pork tacos: Seared pork tenderloins topped with avocado, red onions, lime juice, queso fresco, cilantro and green sauce. A classic taco with a tangy and savory flavor . www.clovesandcaramel.com

Chipotle pork tacos recipe

What a week this has been so far. The last year of funny satire, outrageous and surreal statements all boiled down to the last 24 hours of election 2016.¬†I wanted to do a post yesterday but I was glued¬†to the TV all evening – alternating between yelling at the TV and imagining that the people of this country know better.… Read more →

Indian tandoori naan : Easiest, soft and delicious butter naan bread on a frying pan or a skillet made with all-purpose flour and wheat flour. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Tandoori naan on a frying pan

I was thinking about a new book to read and asked the husband for a suggestion. He was watching a¬†trailer for the movie Inferno that was released a couple of weeks ago. Then we got to talking about Dan Brown novels and he was surprised to know that I have not read any of his novels. That is how I… Read more →

Super quick moist, fluffy, gluten-free, dairy-free almond baked donuts / doughnuts with a beet juice, yogurt and coconut sugar frosting. Perfect for breakfast or as a healthy treat. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Almond baked donuts with beet frosting

Last weekend we happened to wind up at TJ Maxx after our ¬†trip to home depot to get yet another tool – a leaf mulcher this time that the husband wanted to get because we have so many fallen leaves in the yard because of all the trees. We were joking that the neighbors might be thinking that we are… Read more →

Bagara rice: Mild flavorful Basmati rice with whole spices, red onion, mint and garlic. It pairs beautifully with spicy curries. It's vegan, gluten free and ready under 30 minutes with just 10 ingredients. Perfect for parties, pot luck, diwali or festival lunch/dinners. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Bagara rice / Whole spice flavored basmati rice

My sister’s birthday was last week. Me and the husband decided to go pay a visit. The actual plan was to surprise her with her favorite red velvet cupcakes and write a blog post about the over all experience and her feedback. But things did not work out as planned. I don’t know where I made a mistake, but the¬†cupcake… Read more →

Gujarati Kadhi / Kadi : Yogurt based gravy dish with chickpea or gram flour (besan) , simmered with spices and tempered with cinnamon, cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Gujarati Kadhi – Sweet and Spicy Yogurt Chickpea Soup

It has been an interesting week so far. I fell in love with a beautiful blue couch I saw at a friend’s studio. I found out where she got it and it turns out the store was very close to our home. We already have a couch, a recliner that I also love and we don’t need another one.¬†So, I… Read more →

Mutton Dalcha ‚Äď Hyderabadi style lamb & protein rich lentil curry. A simple, healthy and nutritious dish served with bagara rice / biryani /plain rice. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Hyderabadi mutton dalcha / Meat lentil vegetable stew

The end of summer came with the arrival of the strongest hurricane of the year. Though hurricane Matthew caused no major problems for us, it is suddenly much colder now. We have switched from cold to heat literally overnight. Speaking of the chill in the air, cold lazy days are the perfect time to enjoy hot spicy delicious soups and… Read more →

Stuffed bell peppers with ground turkey, onions, corn and fresh basil. Topped with shredded cheese. Simple to make comforting fall recipe and a great family dinner idea. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Turkey stuffed bell peppers recipe

The biggest hurricane of this season is almost here and we can surely feel its arrival. Hurricane Matthew has been in the headlines for almost a week now and we have been checking the news regularly to get updates. Looks like it is very serious along the coast.¬†It has been raining most of the day today but the husband has… Read more →

Palak Paneer or Saag Paneer : Popular Indian vegetarian dish made with spinach puree, cottage cheese and spices. Delicious and healthy. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Spinach / Saag / Palak Paneer Recipe

A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to dinner by our friends to their new house. They recently bought this house and we loved the deck because of the spectacular view of sunset. We had a very good time as we got together after quite some time. There was samosa, papdi chaat and mint chutney. We started chatting about… Read more →

Mooli / Radish Paratha - A Popular Indian whole wheat flatbread with raw grated radish stuffing flavored with Indian spices. Served with curd or raita. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Mooli Paratha / Radish Flatbread

I¬†love my pearl stud earrings and wear them everyday. They look so elegant simple and go with everything I wear. After I read the book ¬†” Julie and Julia : My year of cooking dangerously” I loved them even more. So, as it happens in life,¬†I lost the pearl in my right earring. I got these specially made¬†in Hyderabad, India.… Read more →

Pumpkin Masala chai ‚Äď A delightful fall drink made with milk, pumpkin, tea powder and spices. Perfect to curl up with on chilly fall days! www.clovesandcaramel.com

Pumpkin Masala Chai – Kaddoo Masala Tea

Fall is officially here.. It is that time of the year when there is a nip in the air, the colors start changing and everyone starts preparing for the holiday season to start. It is a wonderful time of anticipation, celebration and quiet reflection. It was raining last week,¬†me and the husband on a¬†lazy Sunday afternoon. We were looking outside… Read more →

Spiced turkey plantain lettuce wraps ‚Äď Loaded with warm spices, topped with avocado and fresh cilantro. High in protein and super healthy and delicious. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Turkey Plantain Lettuce wraps

After a long (ahem !) debate about whether to get a roomba or not, dear husband convinced me with some pretty good calculations of time and cost that getting it is a good idea. Well we got the roomba and I was curious to open the package as we were watching the new Louis CK stand up show on Netflix.… Read more →

Pepper cumin rasam ‚Äď A spicy, tangy and hot clear soup made with tamarind, black peppercorns and cumin. Excellent remedy for cold and cough. It tastes delicious with steamed rice and papad. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Miriyala charu – Pepper cumin soup – Menasu saru – Milagu rasam

I woke up early in the morning, packed breakfast and lunch for¬†the husband like every weekday. It was around 8:15 am when he tied his shoe laces, took his laptop, lunch bag and was in the driveway about to get into the car when it happened. I was standing on the porch, had my hand¬†on the railing. I thought I… Read more →

The classic breakfast made healthier - Whole wheat pancakes stuffed with blueberries and drenched in buttermilk and maple syrup ~ not just for a pancake day ! www.clovesandcaramel.com

Whole wheat Buttermilk Blueberry pancakes

It was my birthday this past weekend (September 4th) and I got my surprise birthday gift today from the husband. The latest model of the fitness tracker Fitbit Charge 2. Well it was a surprise in the sense that he actually did buy one¬†for himself also. He has been talking about getting one for himself for a while now. He… Read more →

Ven pongal recipe - Rice and yellow lentils cooked and seasoned with peppercorns and ghee. Tempered with curry leaves and cashew nuts for a delicious meal. www.clovesandcaramel.com

Ven pongal – Khara pongal – Ghee pongal

I remember the time during my early graduation days, when I was invited by a friend to her house and her mom made this delicious spicy mushy rice dish with a tangy sauce. I did not know back then what I was eating. It was pongal with a tangy tamarind sauce. I was a very shy and an introvert back… Read more →