Thursday, October 8, 2015

Kidney Beans Pasta

Last year I got the honor to visit Italy with my family. We went to Rome and Venice. And it does not take long to fall in love with such great cities. Rome is known for its historical significance and Venice is such a romantic place that it has become our favorite destinations in Europe ever.

We also got attached to the place, cause our son (now 3+ years) saw the sea for the first time in his life! And he was blessed to see his first of the seven wonders of the world i.e. the great Colosseum! He was sleeping half way through the entire tour but shhh... don't tell him :-). 

So in the memories of our Italy trip I thought to give it a try to the humble pasta, but with little bit of a twist :-).

Pasta is first boiled and then mixed with the tomatoes and onion mix. Topped with kidney beans and pumpkin seeds :-). Flavors turned out to be great! You must give this dish a try!


  • Freshly boiled or Tin kidney beans
  • 2 onions cut into long strips
  • 1 large tomato cut into long strips
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin seeds 
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • Boiled pasta
  • 2 green chili finely cut
  • 2 cloves garlic finely cut
  • 1.5 inch ginger piece finely cut
  • Black pepper as per taste
  • Red chili powder as per taste
  • Soya sauce
  • Oregano 
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Take a pan on medium heat. 
  • Add 4 tsp olive oil. 
  • Add fresh ginger and garlic. 
  • Add cut onions. And saute them till they are translucent. 
  • Add tomatoes. Saute them for another 10 minutes. 
  • Add pumpkin seeds for the crunch factor.
  • Add soya sauce. Stir.
  • Add kidney bins. 
  • Add salt, black pepper, coriander powder.  
  • Saute for another 5 minutes. 
  • Add boiled pasta.
  • Add oregano.
  • Mix them well and serve hot.

#MNoExpert, but I hope you will like it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Veggie Concoction

Summer season has come! Its time to enjoy the greenery... green trees, grass, seasonal veggies. Vegetable markets are filled with lush green seasonal veggies. This time I decided to use some seasonal fresh vegetables and turn them into a delicious dish.

I think a lot of non-veg dishes have been put up on this blog, it's time for some veggies concoction. Idea is very simple, just take out any or all veggies from your fridge and lets make a veggie concoction out of it.

My parents are here in Vienna these days. And my mother-in-law is a vegan. Any veggie lover would love this dish. For non-vegetarian, you can later add boiled chicken or boiled meat of your choice or even boiled eggs topping will do.

It's not just good wholesome veggies you will eat, rather you will eat Vitamin A, C, K, B1, B6, Fiber, Copper etc.

Here is what I took from my fridge. 


  • 12 - 15 Cherry Tomatoes 
  • 1 Green capsicum - cut into long strips 
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper - cut into long strips 
  • 2 Potatoes with skin on - cut into quarters 
  • 1 Onion, cut into long strips 
  • 1 Carrot, finely chopped 
  • Pineapple diced - For an extra punch of flavor
  • 5-6 cloves on garlic 
  • Ginger grated 
  • 1 Lemon zest, 1 Lemon 
  • Olive Oil 
  • Season it with garam masala, red paprika, black pepper, salt to taste
  • Coriander, Rose marry, Mint leaves - all optional.

Here is how the beautiful cut veggies looks like:


  • Mix all the veggies together in olive oil, and dry spices.
  • Pre-heat the oven at 4 level.
  • Let it bake till 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Give it a stir after around 30 minutes.
  • Once done, squeeze the roasted lemon juice on top of veggies.
  • Once done, serve it hot in a plate.

Let's plate up:

Hey #MNoExpert, but I hope you will like it. Please give it a try and let me know how it turned out for you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Oven made Tandoori Chicken

Since I started my own little blog and have put up few recipes, I could feel how hard it is to maintain your blog and be creative every time you put up a new recipe. Especially if you are handling all the departments by yourself (i.e. Cooking, Food Styling, Plating, Food Photography etc.).

Writing and maintaining this blog is trying to get the best out of me :-). On the face it may look like writing a food blog is like a work flow, or a flow chart with a series of steps to follow. You simply follow the steps and you are done with it, right? Wrong... :-)

It actually takes a lot more than just following a flow chart :-).

Here is how...

First you have to come with an amazing recipe which you can pursue. Spend a good amount of time to cook it. Find creative ways to plate your dish. You name your dish like a new born baby. Narrate a story or history behind the dish as an introduction to the dish. Click some amazing pictures of your dish so that they look appetizing. 

So a food blog helps you to learn in every department. I am learning especially around plating and food photography. I have searched and gone through various YouTube videos and other web contents to gain some more knowledge around them.

I would like to say in a very humble manner, that these pictures are best of me so far. I am still learning though... :-).

This time I decided to give it a try to Tandoori Chicken, in an oven. You might find a lot of recipes of Tandoori Chicken out there. However here is my attempt on home made Tandoori Chicken in an oven. This is the first time I tried Tandoori Chicken in an oven. 

The results were delicious, I hope you will like it too :-).


Chicken Legs (I took 3) • Give it a few cuts • 3 tsp mustard or olive oil • 2 tsp yogurt • 2 tsp chicken masala  2 tsp red chili powder (adjust as per your taste) • 1 tsp coriander powder  1 tsp cumin powder  Juice of 1 lemon  2 tsp ginger and garlic paste  1 tsp soy sauce (optional)  1 tsp black pepper (optional)  salt to taste 


  • Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl and mix them well. 
  • In the mix, add chicken legs, coat all the spices well on the chicken legs.
  • Either use hands or a brush to massage it the chicken legs.
  • Set it aside for at least 1/2 hour. The longer it marinates the better off it is. I marinate it for 3 hours in a fridge. Take it out 1 hour before cooking.


  • Pre-heat the oven at 375 degrees.
  • Place the chicken legs on a oven tray.
  • Place it in the oven and cook them for 40 to 50 minutes. Check it after 30 minutes and see if it needs more cooking.
  • Take it out, plate it and you are done.

Photo Techniques:

  • I decided to take this photo by my kitchen window, from where direct sun light comes in.
  • I used aluminum foil, crushed it and used as light reflector to balance out the light.
  • Photo is taken using iPhone 5 and edited using Google's Snapseed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Would I ever leave India? Never! But wait a minute... may be I would

I have been living outside India since more than 2 years now however my strings are still well attached to India. My family is still there. All my friends or at least most of them are still there. And I miss them all the time. Sometimes I ask myself if I get an opportunity to leave India for good will I do that? Will I be able to cut my strings from India and settle abroad?

And in order to weigh the decision I came up with a list of pros and cons which might help in decision making. Here are they, some of them might be funny, some of them are very basic things...

For what I will leave India:

  • Clean Water: I live in Delhi the capital of India, and even there clean water is not available 24 hours a day. We have to use a water purifier to filter the stored tap or underground water before drinking it. I went to India after 1 year and fell sick cause of drinking tap water; It might sound strange but its true. Pity is I had to drink bottled water in my own country.
  • Electricity: very basic need but it has become luxury in India. People spend more money on power inverters, generators than the actual electricity bill that they pay cause electricity is hard to come by.
  • Extreme Heat: In summer the mercury goes as high as 45 degrees and on worst days it has even touched 48 degrees Celsius. Out of 12 at least 8 to 9 months are either hot or rainy. Winters have shrink down from 5 months to just 1 month because of global warming.
  • Air Pollution: Delhi has come in the list of top 10 most polluted cities in the world. As per WHO people have far more chances to get lungs related diseases in Delhi than in any other city in the world. That means they will not give us electricity in the hottest months of year. And now I will suffocate myself as well.
  • Humanity: Humanity is dying, people are ready to fight with each other over petty reasons. Increasing road rage, fights over car park slots. People are generally rude to each other.
  • Traffic: traffic conditions are bad beyond imagination. I used to take two hours to get back home from work. And 1 hour in the morning to reach work place cause I used to leave early to avoid traffic. This certainly affects the quality of life.
  • Infrastructure: Any sports club, swimming pool are not easily available even if you find one you end up shelving a lot of money to keep your body fit. Not enough parking space for cars.
  • Internet speed: yes its true, internet is either not available or a decent speed will cost you too much. 4G is available only in few states let alone LTE.
  • Pay extra to use Credit card: they have diluted the basic principle of using a credit card. One tends to use it when he/she does not have upfront cash or wants to pay the amount after few days. But if u attempt to use a credit card they will charge you extra because bank charges some fee on using credit card machine. 

School admissions for kids, any government work that you would like to get done will take ages, even the standard of Bollywood movies has gone down tremendously and the list goes on and on...

So to paraphrase it - I will take two hours to come home from work place in 48 degree Celsius temperature and traffic jams. Someone will be ready to pick up a fight with me for car parking. Even if I could park my car when I get home chances are there will be no electricity. And no clean water to drink. If I decide to buy any air conditioning using my credit card I will end up paying extra, cause I used credit card!!! After all this if I take a deep breath to pacify myself I will be inhaling too much air pollution :-). 

So the decision seems very easy :-). 

Here is what will keep me rooted to India:

My family and friends. I guess that's it!!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hunters Hot Pot Chicken with Pineapple

Today's recipe is inspired by Chiappa sisters' hunters hot pot chicken recipe recently uploaded to you tube. Here you can check out their original recipe. 

I decided to give this dish a try but with a little bit of pineapple twist and some Indian spices. And I must say it really worked out very well. Pineapple really added a little bit of extra kick to the dish while keeping the original dish's integrity. 

Among the three sisters the eldest Michela is my favorite ;-). 

This dish is fairly straight forward and yet brings out a lot of taste and flavors. Here's what you will need for this dish...


  • 4 chicken legs with skin on.
  • 3 green chilies finely chopped.
  • 1 big onion chopped.
  • 3 large tomatoes or tin tomatoes. I used tin tomatoes for this recipe, especially for the red color. 
  • 2 capsicums cut into long strips. Or any veggie of your choice i.e. Carrots.
  • 1 tsp red chili powder, black pepper, coriander powder and garam masala. 
  • 1 lemon juice. 
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped. 
  • 1 inch ginger chopped. 
  • Rosemary, finely chopped. 
  • Pineapple diced. 
  • 4 tsp Olive oil and butter. 
  • Cream, optional.
  • Salt to taste.


  • Take a non stick pan on high heat. 
  • Add olive oil. Add butter. 
  • Once hot add chicken seasoned with salt, black pepper, red chili powder, garam masala and lemon juice. 
  • Fry it on both sides for a total of 10 to 12 minutes to get good brown color. 
  • Take the chicken pieces out in a plate. Leave any oil, butter and chicken juices in the pan. 
  • Add onions to the pan and saute them. 
  • Add garlic and ginger. 
  • Add tomatoes. Mix them well. 
  • Add salt to taste. 
  • Cook them for 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • Add capsicum and chicken. 
  • Cook for another 30 minutes and keep mixing them in between. 
  • After 30 minutes add pineapple and cream. Mix them well. Because pineapple will take no time to cook.
  • Cook it for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender. 
  • And that's it. 
  • Serve it with hot Indian bread, naan or basmati rice. 

Hey I am no expert but I do hope you will like this dish.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Shashuka Eggs

Easter has just gone by. Easter always reminds me of Easter bunnies and Easter eggs. My Easter bunny is my 2.5 years old son Vihaan :-) and Easter eggs reminds of me of a dish called Shashuka eggs, which I have been willing to try since long time now.

Shashuka eggs is a dish of poached eggs in onion, tomatoes, bell peppers mixture. 

Shashuka means "a mixture" in Arabic language. More information about this dish is on wiki

I tried it for the first time and I have fallen in love with the dish. If I were to explain the dish in Indian style cooking, its 
poached eggs on top of onion, tomatoes, and bell pepper tempering, with the spice level of your choice.

Its a very simple and straight forward dish. Here is my take on preparing Shashuka eggs.


  • 3 to 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped.
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped.
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped.
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped.
  • 3 to 4 eggs.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  • 1 tsp chili power.
  • 1 tsp black pepper.
  • 1 tsp garam masala.
  • 2 tsp butter
  • Salt to taste.


  • Put a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add olive oil.
  • Add cumin seed. Let them crackle. Roughly for 30 seconds.
  • Add green chilies.
  • Add onion. Saute them till translucent.
  • Add tomatoes and bell peppers.
  • Add red chilies, salt and black pepper.
  • Add butter and mix them well. 
  • Cook them with lid on. Roughly for 10 minutes or until the bell pepper becomes tender.
  • Taste it and adjust the seasoning.
  • Crackle the eggs on top of the tempering.
  • Cook them for another 5 to 7 minutes with lid on. Or until the eggs are cooked to your desired consistency.
  • And that's it.
  • Serve it on top of a pizza base, or eat as it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pan seared chicken with boiled veggies

They say Indian food is awesome, insanely delicious, divine texture, great combination of exotic spices but... its very heavy and not healthy (because of the over use if oil, ghee and spices) especially for weight watchers. You know what would my response to that be? I agree, I would say :-). 

After watching Masterchef US all 5 seasons back to back (Yeah I know I am crazy), I decided to cook some healthy yet delicious dishes. Mind you this is my first time on this dish but after tasting the final dish its not the last time I will cook it.

I have been observing my weight since my childhood. But now I have realized if I keep consuming Indian food I am ought to gain weight. I know it sounds harsh but I am sorry its the reality :-). 

This dish is so light that my tummy is very happy with the dinner tonight :-) and is still craving for more :-)


  • 400 gms boneless chicken.
  • Salt and black pepper. 
  • Fresh coriander finely chopped. 
  • Fresh vegetables of your choice. I took carrot, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli. 
  • Olive oil, a cube of butter. 
  • 1 clove of garlic. 
  • 1 small tsp cumin seeds. 
  • Lemon zest. And lemon juice. 
  • Sweet chili sauce and mustard sauce. 
  • And lots of love. 


Pan seared chicken

  • Take a pan on high heat. 
  • Add 2 to 3 tsp olive oil. 
  • Add cumin seeds. Let them crackle. Roughly 30 seconds.
  • Season the chicken breast with salt and black pepper. 
  • Lay chicken breast away from you on the pan. 
  • Cook it for 2 minutes then flip them over. 
  • Cook it for another 2 minutes on the other side then flip again. 
  • Add butter. Add garlic. Add coriander leaves. 
  • Reduce the heat to medium. 
  • Cook it for 4 minutes with lid on. 
  • Add lemon zest at this stage. 
  • Flip the chicken and cook for another 4 minutes with lid on. 
  • Take chicken out and let it rest for few minutes. 
  • Chicken keeps cooking while it rests. 

Boiled veggies 

  • Take a deep pan. Fill with water. Bring the water to a running boil. Add a pinch of salt. 
  • Add all cut veggies but spinach. 
  • Cook them with lid on for 7 to 8 mins. 
  • Towards the end add spinach. Cause spinach takes no time to boil. 
  • Plate the veggies out. 
  • Plate them together, the way I have shown it. Season it with mustard sauce, sweet chili sauce and a touch of lemon juice.