Festive food

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 – 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 →

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 →

Pepper cumin rasam – 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 →

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 →