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Shobhan's Spice Corner

I have presented new recipes for a complete Indian meal on this page, from a non-alcoholic cocktail and appetizer to main course and dessert.

Almost all of the ingredients should be available in the local supermarkets. If not, you can find them in Indian and Oriental grocery stores.

I hope you will try some of these recipes and give me some feedback on how you made out. If you would like to offer suggestions or comments, go to the contact page and send me an e-mail.

Happy Cooking and Bon Appétit!

Shobhan Bantwal


A refreshing fruit drink with a hint of roses for any time of the year and any occasion.

Pineapple-Rose Punch

4 tbsps Rose Syrup - available in Indian and Oriental stores
4 cups pineapple juice  
1 liter bottle ginger ale  
Small chunks of pineapple (canned or fresh) and maraschino cherries for garnishing

Mix all ingredients and serve in cocktail glasses over ice cubes, with a spoon or toothpick to scoop up the fruit. Note: Garnish with fresh rose petals in addition to cherries and/or add a splash of vodka if desired. Makes 4 servings.


Here is an easy to make appetizer if you plan a bit ahead of time.

Green Chicken Kababs (Hariyali Kabab)

1 lb boneless chicken breasts cut into 2 inch cubes 1/2 cup yogurt
1 inch piece fresh ginger 2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), washed 1/2 cup fresh mint, washed
1 green chili pepper (adjust to taste) 1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 of small onion, chopped 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste 1 tbsp cooking oil

Blend together all ingredients except the chicken in a blender or food processor. Do not add water. The paste has to be thick. Marinate the chicken in the mixture in a flat bowl, cover and store in refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours. Thread on skewers and grill on a low flame until the outside is slightly browned and juices run clear when pierced with a knife. For indoor alternate, put skewers on a well-greased greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Crisp Cabbage Salad (Kobi Kosambari)

This is a simple, low-calorie and nutritious salad with ready to use ingredients from the supermarket.

1/2 bag of readymade coleslaw mix  
1/2 bag of shredded red cabbage
1 medium red onion, sliced very thin, layers separated to match the cabbage shreds
1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped  
2 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice (adjust to taste)  
1 hot green chili pepper (optional), chopped
Salt to taste  

Toss all the ingredients thoroughly just prior to serving. Mixing in advance will wilt the cabbage, so it's best served immediately after tossing. Makes 6 servings.


Most Indian meals include at least one dish with rice. Here is a simple way to turn plain rice and split peas into a nutritious culinary delight.

Rice with split peas (khhichdi)

1 cup long-grain rice 1/2 cup yellow split peas or split lentils
2 sticks cinnamon 2 cloves
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/6 tsp turmeric powder 2 tsps butter
2 1/2 cups boiling water Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar Hot green chili to taste - chopped (optional)

Wash the split peas, drain thoroughly and set aside. Melt butter over medium heat (do not burn) in a large saucepan. And the mustard seeds. When they start to crackle (takes only a few seconds), add the cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves, then stir for a couple of seconds. Pour the rice in the pan and stir for two minutes on low, until the rice turns opaque. Add boiling water, split peas, sugar, hot chili and salt. Stir well and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover and cook for 20 mins. Cool for at least 10 mins, then serve with the other dishes. Makes 6 servings.


Shrimp Curry

1 lb large frozen shrimp, thawed and drained 2 clove garlic
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk 1/2 medium onion, minced
small piece of fresh ginger 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder (adjust to taste) 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1tbsp lemon or lime juice salt to taste
2 tbsp cooking oil  

Peel, de-vein and rinse shrimp, then dry with a paper towel and marinate with a mix of 1/2 tsp salt and the turmeric. Cover and allow to marinate for an hour in the refrigerator (can be left up to four hours). Finely mince ginger and garlic, then mash together with the flat end of a heavy knife. Heat oil in a wide pan and fry onions for a minute, until wilted. Add ginger garlic mash and then the rest of the ingredients except shrimp. Simmer for one minute. Taste and add more cayenne and/or salt if needed. For a thinner gravy, add a little water. Add the marinated shrimp and cook for two minutes, until shrimp turn coral in color and begin to curl. Do not overcook, or shrimp will turn tough. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Veg. Side Dish

Spicy Sautéed Eggplant (Vangi bhaaji)

Three long Oriental eggplants 1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
Red Chili powder to taste 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic, finely minced 1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) 1 large plum tomato, diced
2 tbsps cooking oil 1/2 cup water
salt to taste  

Grind coriander and cumin seeds in a coffee grinder to a coarse powder. Cut the stems off the eggplants, then slit lengthwise and cut into one-inch long pieces. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Sauté onions till wilted. Add the coriander-cumin mix and turmeric. Stir for one minute. Add the rest of the ingredients except eggplant to the to the pan, stir well, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for three minutes, until the tomatoes and onions are soft and mushy. Add the eggplant. Once again stir, cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Add more water if needed to make a thick gravy. Do not overcook or the eggplant will turn mushy. Taste and add more salt, chili, or sugar if needed. Garnish with fresh green coriander (optional). Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Mango with Coconut milk (Amba Rasayan)

2 large fully ripe mangoes - peeled, pitted and cut in 1/8 inch cubes
1can of unsweetened coconut milk
6 tbsps sugar or Splenda (use more if needed)
1/4 tsp cardamom seeds - crushed (use vanilla if cardamom is too strong)

Squeeze out all the pulp around the pit into a medium-size glass or ceramic bowl and discard pit. Add coconut milk, sugar and cardamom (or vanilla) and beat with a hand mixer until the lumps from the mango pulp are smoothed out and mixed well with the milk mixture. Add the cubed mango. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Tastes great either way.