Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Achari Masala

So today I have decided to share with you the recipe of an Indian staple seasoning. This can be used across a variety of dishes and techniques and makes a fantastic marinade. Time to let you in on a little secret ;) there is a recipe coming up soon that will use this ‘masala’. It would be a perfect Sunday family meal. I guarantee! Also it is sure to be a change from the Sunday style roast and veggies the Western world is so accustomed to.

Some of these ingredients might be difficult to find in Ostrava/Czech (though not impossible)
If you are feeling lazy you can always call KROP and order yourself some of this homemade flavor bomb.

Mustard seeds………………………………   2tbsp
Cumin seeds…………………………………  2tbsp
Nigella seeds (kalaunji)……………………   2tbsp
Fennel seeds………………………………    2tbsp
Fenugreek seeds………………………        2tsp
Carom seeds (ajwain)……………………    1tsp
Whole red chilies (dried)*………………       75gms
Dry mango powder (amchoor)…………     2tsp(optional)

This set of ingredients yields around 50 - 75 grams approximately depending on the chili we add.

Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned above with the exception of dried red chillies. You must roast them until the aroma of the spices is released. The red chillies must get dry roasted in a separate pan.

Let the roasted spices and chilies sit in a bowl (at this stage it is okay for them to rest together) until it comes down to room temperature.

Grind these roasted ingredients into a coarse or fine powder depending on your requirement. For instance, chunky bits of spice would be great when using this as a marinade for a bbq.
The spice mixture is ready to use across a variety of gravies, roasts and grills.
Store the unused spice powder in an airtight container.

*I used chili paprika and sladky (non spicy) chili in equal quantity.
You can adjust the quantity of each chili according to your desired spice level

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Dear Friends,

After my last posting on chicken wings, I want to take you to a completely different and unique dish called Dosa. Its familiar and most liked food by any Indians in the universe irrespective of where he lives and from where his origin in India.
That is Dosas.... for you friends:-).

Its more or less like the pancakes my Czech friends make but with entirely different ingredients and taste.

It is a healthy food as its gluten free and moreover as the batter is fermented overnight it is probiotic, and as we add fenugreek seeds(pískavice řecké seno semena) in it, it is diabetic friendly too:-).

Its the staple breakfast in south Indian household apart from Idlis....Why only breakfast. We can have this at any part of the day. The name dosa tickles your taste buds and crave you to eat. You cannot wait till its prepared, and when you start eating you cannot stop. Its not an exaggeration!!!!!.

Usually its served with sambhar and chutney of your choice - coconut,onion and tomato, coriander and mint and so on.......

We can have a variety of dosas like masala dosas,cut dosas,cheese dosas,onion uttappam.......And the list is endless:-).

Basically it contains bolied or parboiled rice with normal long grain rice ,black lentils and about a tea spoon of fenugreek seeds.

We soak the rice and lentils with fenugreek seeds separately for a minimum of 5-6 hrs.
Then we grind the lentil and rice separately to a fine paste and mix it well by adding adequate salt.

Then we ferment the batter overnight.

The proportion for the dosa batter is

Parboiled or bolied rice                      - 3 cups
Sos long grain rice or normal rice      -1 cup
Skinned whole black lentils                -3/4 cup
Fenugreek seeds                                -1/2 tspn
Salt  as required

We use a special wet grinders with stones and this grinder will be there in almost all the south Indian house holds.I have one at my home in Ostrava too:-).

But never mind,you can always grind them in a  mixer.

And the batter after fermenting overnight will look like this:-).

The same batter can be used for preparing idlis too.

Now take a non stick pan and pour the batter in circle and apply little oil on the sides of the dosas and once its cooked remove it from the pan and serve it with chutney and sambar.

Here you go to understand how to spread the batter.

Bon appetit:-)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Baked-Garlic parmesan wings.

Baked - Garlic Parmesan wings.

After cooking few chicken dishes want to try some baking!!!

This time with the chicken wings with some basic ingredients and cheesy flavor.

Let’s see the ingredients

1. Chicken wings (kuřecí křídla)                                                   -500gms
2. Vegetable (rostlinný ) or sunflower (slunečnicový)oil               -1 tbsp
3. Black pepper powder (černý pepř prášek)                                  -1tsp 
4. Garlic powder (Česnekový prášek)                                            -2tsp
5. Chili flakes (chilli vločky)*                                                        -1tsp
6. Oregano                                                                                      -1tsp
7. Minced garlic (drcený česnek)**                                               -25gms
8. Fresh parsley (čerstvou petrželkou)                                           -25 gms
9. Parmesan cheese (parmazán)                                                    -200 gms
10. Salt                                                                                          -1 tsp
11. Lemon zest (citrónová kůra) ***                                            -2 tsp

As a normal practice prepare yourselves before starting the actual process of baking.

Wash, clean, drain the water and pat dry the chicken wings with the kitchen towel.

Pre heat the oven at 210°c.

Grate the cheese and keep it ready.

Mince the garlic pods and grate the lemon zest and keep it aside.

Now let’s start with the marination of chicken wings.

Take a bowl and place the chicken wings.

Add vegetable oil, salt, oregano, pepper powder, Chili flakes, dry garlic powder,half of freshly chopped parsley and mix well with your hands and keep it aside for 20 mnts.

*If you don’t want to use the chili flakes –please increase the level of pepper powder by ½ tsp

 The preheating of oven might have ended by the time the chicken is getting marinated.

Now take the cooling rack and brush some oil on it.

Place the cooling rack on the top of the tray, so that the air gets circulated from down for the chicken to get cooked evenly.

Please refer the picture for the same

It will take 15 to 20 minutes for the chicken to cook.

When the chicken is getting baked-

Take a bowl add the grated cheese, minced garlic, Parsley and lemon zest and mix well and keep it ready.

**If you like more garlic taste in your chicken please add one or two pods more. I used three medium sized pods.

***Instead of lemon zest you can finely chop the lemon grass and add it. It will give better flavor than the zest. As I could not procure the same I used lemon zest.

As soon as the chicken comes out of the oven, Mix them in the cheese mixture till the chicken is well coated.

Place the coated chicken in the cooling tray and place it back in the oven for 10 minutes.

The last two minutes put it in broil for the extra crispyJ

Yummy.The home was smelling divine with the fresh herbs :-)

Bon appetite.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Corn, Spinach &Cheese Toast.

This is the simplest recipe but a fulfilling meal with minimum ingredients and less cooking time.

Now the ingredients-

Sweet corn kernels /sladké kukuřice jádra      – 1 cup
Spinach /špenát                                               -1 1/2cups
Garlic pods/ česnek lusky                                -3 medium size
Nutmeg/muškátový oříšek                               -1 tsp (grated )
Green chilli *                                                    -1 very finely chopped
Red chilli flakes/červené chilli vločky**           -1 tbsp (for spreading on the top of slices)
Butter/Maslo                                                      -50gms.
Onions/cibule                                                    -1 medium size
All-purpose flour/Mouka                                     -1 cup
Milk/Mleko                                                          -1 ½ cups  
Cheese                                                               -200 gms                         

As a practice prepare the ingredients before starting to cook.

Wash the spinach leaves in colander and keep it aside for the water to drain. Once the water is drained fully (need not have to be dried fully-as we are going to cook it),cut the spinach and keep it ready.

Cut onions into small pieces.

Peel the garlic and chop it well.

It’s easier to use the frozen sweet corn which is available in all the super markets.


Take a pan and add the butter. If you want less fat use half of butter and oil. I used only butter.The choice is absolutely yours as the taste will not change in either ways:-).

When the butter is about to melt add the garlic and saute well .Don’t make it brown –please.

Then add the onions and green chilies and stir till the onions are cooked. Again don’t wait till its brown.

*You avoid green chilies if you are going to use the chili flakes on top of the slices of bread.
I preferred green chilies as it’s cooked and the chili will not be felt in every bite. Again the choice is yours-Please:-).

**use the red chili flakes if you are not adding the green chilies.

When the onions are cooked (when they are translucent) grate the nutmeg and mix well.

Now it’s time to add the flour. Put the flame in low medium and stir till the raw flavor goes out.

Add required salt. 

Now add half a cup of milk at a time and mix well. Stir well till you get a nice paste consistency.check the salt before switching off the gas.

Now the mixture is ready to be spread on the slices of bread.

Cut the edges (if you want to) and apply the spread generously on the slices and grate the cheese on the top and put it in the oven at 200 °f.

Cook it in the oven till the cheese melts. Please do not make the cheese brown.

The cheese should be felt in every biteJ.

You can see the cheese just melted and not brown. This is the time you switch off the oven and the toast is ready to serve.

I used brown bread as it is not sweet and goes well with this toast.

You can serve it as sandwiches too.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Egg Rice Noodles/ vermicelli

Hi again,

After a long break , another simple recipe with rice noodles. In my earlier blog ,I introduced rice noodles with coconut and lemon. Now with the eggs.

All you need is just half an hour- Preparation time of 10 mnts and cooking time of 15 -20 mnts.

Now for the ingredients.

Boiled Rice noodles*           -200 gms.
Eggs (large size)                   -2 nos.
Tomatoes                              -2 small sized or one big size.
Garlic                                    -2 pods finely chopped.
Onion**                                -1 big size.
Red chilli powder                  -1/2 tsp
Coriander powder                  -1/2 tsp
Oil                                          -2 tbsp
Mustard(semena hořčice)      -1 tspn
Salt                                         -to taste
Curry leaves                           -1 string
Bay leaf                                  -2
Kalpasi or stone flower***    -1 small pinch

*Please check my earlier post where I have shared how to cook the rice noodles without getting stickyJ.

**I love to have more onions in all my dishes. So, please add one more onion if you like the taste of onions in food. You can cut into small cubes or thin slices too as it will have great visual appeal. I made it with finely chopped onions. 

***Usually kalpasi or stone flower is added to give extra flavor to the food in small quantity. As it is not available in Ostrava I cooked without this. My friends in India –please add this to enhance the flavor as its easily available in the markets.

Ingredients to roast and grind.
1. Pepper                              -1 tsp
2. Fennel seeds                     -1tsp
3. Cinnamon                         -1/2 inch
4. Cloves                               -2

First dry roast the ingredients (1 to 4) till nice aroma comes out from the ingredients. Make it into coarse powder in mortar and pestle. Keep it aside.

Next step is to grind the tomatoes into puree.  keep it aside.

Heat oil in the pan and when it is warm add the mustard seeds. When it crackles add the bay leaves and curry leaves. During this process let the heat be in medium flame. Then add the chopped garlic .Before it turns into brown add the onions and sauté well. When its slightly cooked(transparent) add the ground powder. Now add the tomato puree and mix well. Now add the chilli powder, corriander powder and salt.  Saute well till the oil separates and the water from the tomatoes evaporates. It should be like a thick mixture consistency.

Break the eggs and pour it on the top of the mixture and scramble the eggs well .Put the flame on slow temperature when the eggs are cooked.

Now add the cooked rice noodles to the egg mixture and mix well.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

Your egg vermicelli is ready to serve.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tomato Onion Chutney.

Hi friends,one of the simplest recipe to go with bread ,Idli, dosa and chapatti.

Dear Czech friends-try this chutney with Knedliky or bread.

Now the ingredients:-
Onions                                       -2 big
Tomatoes                                    -3 big
Urid dal *                                    -2 tbsps
Red chili **                                   -1
Red chili powder***                           -1 tsp                          
Coriander leaves                               -a handful
Garlic(optional)                                 -one small pod
Salt to taste
Oil                                            -2 tbsps full

For finishing in the end

Mustard seeds (Horcice)                         -1/2tsp
Curry leaves                                    -1 string 

Take a pan and add oil in it .When its warm add the Urid dal and sauté it till its slightly fried. Add Red chilies and sauté it for a minute.

*Dear Czech friends –As Urid dal is not available in the local markets –you can please skip this step.

**The whole red chili is available in the shop mentioned in my earlier blog. To benefit the people who are visiting my blog for the first time - Many of the Indian condiments are available in the shop in Futurum adjacent to New Yorker shop.

Once the dal is slightly sautéed with red chili add the cut onions and sauté it till its translucent.

Add a pinch of salt while sautéing the onions to cook faster.

Now add the tomatoes and sauté it well till the juices from the tomatoes are  released and the mixture slowly becomes mushy.

Then add the red chili powder and sauté for another few mnts.

***Dear Czech friends-If you don’t want the chutney to be spicy –add only the sladky chili powder to give you the color.

If you  want it spicy add half of pikant chili powder and half sladky chili powder.

For other friends-Add the Kashmiri chili powder.

Now once the mixture is cooked to mushy consistency remove the pan from the stove and add the coriander leaves to it and mix well.

Wait for the mixture to cool and grind it in a mixer by adding the salt to your taste.

Transfer the chutney into serving bowl.

Now take a small pan and add ½ tsp of oil in it and when its warm –add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the curry leaves and pour it on the top of the chutney.

Mix well and serve it as an accompaniment.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Mango Panna cottaJ

Panna cotta (Italian 'cooked cream') is an Italian dessert of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and molded. The cream may be aromatized with chocolate, coffee, vanilla, or other fruit flavorings.

It is really simple to cook.

Today I will introduce you to mango panna cottaJ.

First let’s see how to prepare the panna cotta as it will be easy for you to add any flavors later.

Even the plain panna cotta with a dash of chocolate sauce or strawberry sauce makes it delicious.

Panna cotta


Heavy cream*                    - 2 cups(400 to 420 gms )
Unflavored gelatin powder        - one small pack of 30 gms.
Sugar**                         - 50 gms
Vanilla bean                  -halved and scrapped(including the bone marrow)
Vanilla essence                 - 1 tsp full
Oil to wipe the molds.

Take 2 table spoons of water and sprinkle the gelatin and allow it to settle for 10 minutes till we cook the cream.
Add the cream and sugar in a sauce pan along with the vanilla bean and bring it to boil in a medium flame.
When the cream is just at the simmering point turn off the flame and add the set gelatin and mix well.
The gelatin should dissolve in the cream
Then strain it in the colander to remove the vanilla bean and bring the mixture to room temperature.
Pour it in the mold greased with oil and refrigerate. It should set in four to six hours. Better is overnightJ

*Heavy cream-I used 33% fat cream. The best would be if you get 40% fat cream.
Please don’t use any cream which is of lesser fat content to 33%.
**You can increase the sugar to another 10 gms depending on the sweet level you need.

Now to the mango part .


Mango pulp *                               -2 cups.
Mango nectar                               -1 cup
Unflavored gelatin                           -1 small pack of 30 gms

Take a microwave proof bowl and add the gelatin in one cup of mango nectar and keep it aside for 10 mnts to set.

Take two cups of mango pulp. I used the canned kesar mango pulp.

*If you get fresh mangoes take 4 or 5 mangoes – Remove the skin and cut into small pieces.

Put it in a blender and make puree equivalent to 1 ½ cups.

Now heat the gelatin mix in microwave just for 1 minute only.

Add the warm gelatin into the mango pulp and mix well.

Pour it on top of the already set cream mixture.

Refrigerate for another 2 to 3 hours to set.

Your mango panna cotta is ready to serveJ

P.S-you can either prepare the mango or the cream mixture first of your choice.

To get the shape in the picture-

Take a muffin tray and slant the glass and make it rest in the muffin counter. Pour the mixture that is prepared first almost to the edge of the glass.

Set the mixture in the refrigerator.

Once it is set remove the tray from the fridge and make the glasses straight and pour in the second mixture. 

After this you need not have to use the muffin tray and can place the glass straight in the fridge.

Dear friends –
You can prepare the plain panna cotta and pour it in a mold. Once the panna cotta is set remove the mold from the fridge and place the mold in the warm water for 10 seconds.

Scoop it out in a serving plate and top it with chocolate sauce or strawberry sauce. Serve it immediately.