Daikon radish raita

The other day my hubby picked up some daikon radish from the Chinese market. It makes a good salad, he said, which made me think that I could use it in a raita. “Raita” is an Indian side dish used as an accompaniment to the main course, usually paired with pulav, biryani or sabzi-naan. It is a yogurt based salad which could be made from onions, tomatoes, carrots or cucumber. My experiment turned out to be delicious.

Here’s what I did. I whisked some yogurt (about a cup) in a bowl and thinned it with water for the right consistency. Then I added grated ginger, some chopped green chilies and coriander leaves to it. I spiced this up with cumin powder and some pepper. To balance the flavors I added some sugar and seasoned it with salt. Then I grated the daikon radish, about 3/4 cup, and added it to the yogurt mixture. To brighten things up, in went a handful of fresh pomegranate seeds. Doesn’t this sound mouth-watering? Crispy, crunchy, fresh and cool. It went perfectly well with our dinner last night of vegetable stew and brown rice.

Raita is really versatile. You can use finely chopped cucumber with roasted and crushed peanuts, or chopped onions and tomatoes and even boiled and mashed pumpkin. I always make raita with different vegetables depending on which ones are in my refrigerator and my family just loves it 🙂 Let me know if you try it.


Weekend morning breakfast- banana bread

On Saturday morning, I thought of baking banana bread. My husband loves it, it’s fairly easy to make and it’s healthy too. Most importantly I had all the ingredients in my kitchen! There are so many recipes available online. But I have changed mine up a little bit to use whole wheat flour, no butter and less sugar. Here it is…

2 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (or 1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour)
You can add one more banana and use only 1/2 cup sugar
You don’t need a mixer for this recipe. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl using a wooden spoon. Mix in the sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Add the baking soda to the flour. Now add the flour to the wet mix and combine. Pour mixture into a loaf pan which has been prepped. Bake for about 45 mins to an hour. You will know that it’s done when you poke a knife into your loaf and it comes out clean. Cool on a rack, and then it’s ready to serve.

Enjoy, and let me know if you try it!!


Brunch at Meal Ticket

This weekend we thought of exploring something local. There is this really cool, family run restaurant on San Pablo in Berkeley called “Meal Ticket” that I had been eyeing for a long time. The name sounded different and it was featured in Diners, Dive-ins and Drives on Food network.

The food was simple diner style made using local ingredients and felt like it’s coming from a home kitchen. It looked delicious, the aroma was great and we dug right in. My daughter had berry pancakes which were scrumptious and topped with fresh fruit. Their baguette was really good and so were the scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms and pesto. My husband had the slow-roast pork with coconut curry which was divine. And yes, don’t miss the fresh orange juice. The weather in Berkeley was great, and I think that helped too.

It’s a treasure, I think I have found my favorite brunch place!!

Chicken Kofta

My husband had the day off on Friday and he decided to cook his special chicken koftas. Koftas are Indian-style meatballs in a curry sauce. In India, vegetarian koftas are also popular such as lauki kofta (made using bottle gourd and chick-pea flour) or malai kofta (potato and cheese balls). Chicken meatballs are fast to cook and tasty too. Here’s the recipe for these delicious meatballs in yogurt sauce.


For meatballs:

Minced chicken – 1 pound
Mayonnaise – 1 1/2 tbsp
Finely chopped onions – 1/4 cup
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup
Egg – 1
Green chilies, chopped finely – 2 or 3
Coriander leaves and mint leaves (chopped) – 1/4 cup
Salt to taste

For the sauce:

Plain Greek yogurt – 1 cup (or regular yogurt, but finish with some cream in the end)
Fennel seed powder (saunf) – 1 tsp
Dried ginger powder (saunth) – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Vegetable oil (or ghee)
Jeera – 1 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves (for garnish)


– Mix all the ingredients for the chicken meat balls in a bowl. Now wet your palms and roll the mixture in balls and set aside.

– Whisk all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce and set aside.

– In a pan, heat some oil and add jeera to it.

– Once the jeera crackles, add the yogurt sauce to it and let this cook for about 10 mins. Keep stirring. You might see that the yogurt curdles a little bit. That is fine. It will come together as it cooks through.

– Now add the chicken balls to this curry one at a time. Let them simmer for about 10-15 mins till the meatballs are cooked. You could add some water if the curry becomes too thick.

– Check the seasoning. Add freshly chopped coriander leaves and a pinch of garam masala to garnish.

– Serve hot with steamed rice or rotis.