Fried Rice – Indian Style

Posted October 30, 2006 by Payal
Categories: Indian Food

I was craving something simple and quick, so I went with my old stand-by – Indian fried rice. Growing up, we always had fresh basmati rice with our meals, and that meant we usually had some rice leftover. My mom would usually cook it up the next day for a quick mid-day meal. I imagine that there are a gazillion ways to prepare this dish, i.e., with/out cashews, raisins, etc. I used what I had on hand.



  • vegetable oil
  • hing
  • rai (black mustard seeds)
  • green chilies, chopped (I use the spicy Thai ones; my mom uses red chili powder)
  • garlic clove, chopped
  • shallot, chopped
  • turmeric
  • salt
  • sugar (I used jaggery)
  • lemon juice
  • chopped cilantro
  • basmati rice (I find that day-old rice works better for me as it sets in the fridge and doesn’t break as easily when using freshly made basmati, which is much more delicate)


  • heat oil in a pan over medium heat
  • add in mustard seeds
  • when mustard seeds begin to pop, add in the hing, chilies, garlic, shallots, turmeric
  • cook for about a minute or two
  • add in the rice
  • cook for another minute or two
  • add salt and jaggery
  • cook yet another minute or two
  • then cut the heat, squeeze a bit of lemon juice to taste, and sprinkle with cilantro

Happy Diwali!

Posted October 20, 2006 by Payal
Categories: Celebrations


Veggies and Sausage

Posted October 18, 2006 by Payal
Categories: Food

I put together a quick dinner tonight and thought I would share it b/c it actually ended up being tastier than I thought it would be.


Veggies and Spicy Sausage


  • garlic cloves, minced
  • onion
  • zucchini
  • squash
  • potatoes (cook in microwave for a few minutes to lessen the overall cooking time)
  • bell pepper
  • spicy Italian sausage
  • stellette-shaped pasta (small star-shaped)
  • fennel
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • thyme
  • kosher salt
  • fresh chopped parsley


  • preheat oven to 400F
  • chop all veggies and sausage so they are about the same size
  • heat up some olive oil in a pot
  • add the garlic, onions, fennel, thyme, red pepper flakes
  • cook for about a minute
  • add in the sausage, zucchini, squash, bell pepper, potatoes, salt
  • add the stellette and a bit a water (or wine or veggie/chicken stock)
  • stir it all together, put a lid on it, and stick it in the oven for 25-30 minutes
  • sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving

I really wanted to add red bell pepper in this dish, but we only had green on hand. I think the red would have added an extra dimension of color as well as add a bit of sweetness to compliment the spiciness of the sausage. We didn’t have leftovers, so I guess it was tasty enough :)

Oktoberfest ’06

Posted October 14, 2006 by Payal
Categories: Fun Stuff

It’s Oktoberfest in my town. Everyone is enjoying the great weather, eating, drinking, mingling, and live music….the following pics are taken from our window:



Herb Slab

Posted October 10, 2006 by Payal
Categories: Food

I had a work thing in the city today and had an hour to kill before G got off work, so I headed over to the Ferry Building. It’s one of my favorite places to go in SF. I used to go through this lovely building every day when I used to work in the city, and always got a thrill as the ferry approached the dock. It was such a nice way to commute.


SF Ferry Building ’05

I picked up a few goodies while strolling through the building: an Herb Slab from the Acme Bread Company. This bread is delicious! It is freshly made, crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, and aromatic (made with fresh rosemary and sage). We’ve had their rosemary and olive rolls, as well as their ciabatta – all were delish! Admittedly, there is no comparison to the breads I’ve had in Europe. Hands-down, Europeans make excellent breads, IMO. But given that I live here, Acme is a great place to pick up a few loaves.


Herb Slab from Acme Bread Co.

Also picked up some soppresatta and mixed country olives from Mastrelli’s Delicatessen.


I was tempted to pick up some rose and hazelnut macaroons from Miette’s, but was running a bit late. Next time… :)

Ginger Collins

Posted October 8, 2006 by Payal
Categories: Beverages

G whipped up a cocktail the other night and we’ve decided to call it “Ginger Collins”. It was crisp and delicious. Cin-cin :)

Ginger Collins

  • 2 parts Collins mix
  • 1 part ginger ale
  • 1 part gin (or vodka)
  • squeeze of lime

(next time: will add orange slices and a maraschino cherry)


Pasta Primavera, Anyone?

Posted October 1, 2006 by Payal
Categories: Food

We sure do love pasta around here. Well, we love many things Italian, and the cuisine of Italy happens to be a favorite for us. One meal we made a lot this past summer was pasta primavera. I love vegetables and summer time is great as fresh veggies are bountiful. I read somewhere that Italians refer to this dish as garden (all’orto) or green grocer’s (dell’ortolano) pasta. There are so many different ways to make this dish, so I just worked with what I had.


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 2 carrots
  • (also have used asparagus when in season)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic (w/skin on)
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs (I used herbs de Provence this time)
  • tomatoes, quartered (or cherry tomatoes, halved)
  • freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
  • freshly grated grana padano
  • chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pasta (about a pound or so) – I used farfalle


  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • chop tomatoes and place in bowl with the garlic cloves, toss with some olive oil, slat, pepper, & herbs
  • chop veggies into even size pieces
  • in a roasting pan (or 2 baking sheets), toss all the veggies with some olive oil, salt, pepper, & herbs
  • on a separate, foil-lined baking sheet place tomatoes chopped side down as well as the garlic cloves (still with skin on)
  • bake until veggies begin to brown and caramelize a bit (this takes about 25 minutes in my oven); I leave the tomatoes and garlic in for an extra 5 minutes
  • cook pasta until al dente, reserve about a cup of the pasta water before draining
  • squeeze the garlic out of its skin (comes out paste-like)
  • combine and toss pasta, roasted veggies, and garlic
  • add the reserved pasta water in small increments until it has the consistency that you prefer
  • toss in the parmigiano and grana padano (I usually end up adding a bit more of the water after adding these cheeses in and the pasta ends up having a creamy consistency)
  • add the chopped parsley and a bit more salt and pepper to taste

I have some before pics, but my after pics did not turn out for some reason :(. I will have to make this again soon to take the after pics.





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