IFR daily

Daily Indian food, as it's cooked in my kitchen. Sometimes, not-so-Indian. No frills. No props. Just good food. A phone blog.

Category: snack

Toasted sandwich with fresh coconut

1 cup fresh shredded coconut
1 cup finely chopped white or red onions
2-3 Thai green chiles, chopped fine
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or to taste
10 slices of white bread
Butter, enough for 10 slices of bread

Pull out that neglected sandwich maker and pre-heat it.
Mix all ingredients together, except bread and butter. Set aside.
Butter one side of 10 slices of your favorite sliced bread. Whole wheat bread is more nutritious but white bread tastes best for these sandwiches.

Place about 1/3 cup of coconut-onion mixture onto the unbuttered side of a slice of bread. Place carefully in sandwich toaster, buttered side down.
Spread the mixture evenly over the slice, leaving some margin on the edge. (If my butter looks unusually yellow, it’s because — gasp! — I ran out of butter and used ghee instead, albeit a little more sparingly than I would butter.
Cover with another slice of bread, buttered side on the outside. Cover and toast for about 5 minutes or as long as it takes in your sandwich maker to make crispy golden sandwiches.
The mixture will be very hot so allow some steam to escape before you chomp down into it. Serve hot!

These are my favorite toasted sandwiches. My mother would make these for breakfast on Sunday mornings. I can eat them for any meal.


Quinoa-Turkey Sliders

20 oz ground turkey
1/2 cup cooked red quinoa
1/2 medium red onion, diced small
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp of minced ginger
1-2 Thai green chiles, minced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed
Dash of fish sauce (optional)
1 tsp of sambal oelek (optional)
3/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients, except turkey, in a medium mixing bowl.
Add ground turkey and mix well.
To check for salt and seasonings, put 1/4 cup water in a glass bowl and drop a small ball of turkey mixture in it and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Normally I would add more green chiles as well as sambal oelek but Medha is a tad bit sensitive to heat right now.

Take about a lime size amount of turkey mixture, and shape into a small patty. This makes about 20 small sliders.

Place baking rack on a large baking tray. Arrange sliders on the rack and broil on high on top rack for 4-5 minutes each side.

Put a small slice of cheese on each slider, wrap in romaine lettuce and eat right away.

A few things to note: since there is no oil or a binder like egg in this recipe, these sliders tend to become dry once stored in the refrigerator and reheated. To reheat, wrap in damp paper towel and only them reheat in your microwave. If you plan to freeze these, consider adding some olive oil so that they aren’t dry and chewy when reheated.

You could grill these instead of broiling them, too.

Mildly-spiced Roasted Cauliflower

1 small head of cauliflower
1-1.5 tbsp neutral oil
1/2 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp red chile powder
3/4 tsp salt
2-3 tsp lemon juice

Heat oven to 400F. I like to use the convection roast feature of my oven.

Clean cauliflower by removing leaves and discarding stalk.
Break or cut into small florets and place in medium mixing bowl.
Mix seeds and red chile powder in a small bowl.
Add salt and oil to spices and mix well.
Pour spice mixture over cauliflower florets and rub it into the florets gently using your clean hands.

Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and spread the florets out in a single layer.
Place in the center rack of your oven and roast for 20 minutes, turning the florets after 10 minutes. Roast until tender, yet crunchy, and browned on the edges. Do not burn.

Once done, pull tray out of oven and add lemon juice. Toss with a wooden spoon to mix. Or, like me, gather the sides of the foil and toss. Do this only after making sure that the foil is not too hot to handle.

Serve immediately.

This is a great after-school snack or an appetizer. It also works well to tide over a hungry teen until dinner is ready.

You can change the spices; use your preferred type of oil. Make it spicier by adding finely chopped green chiles. Add minced garlic to the spice mix or keep it whole and roast with the cauliflower. The possibilities are endless.


There is no right or wrong way to make bhadang, especially if you live in landlocked Colorado.

3-4 tbsp oil
1/2-3/4 tsp black mustard seeds
A good pinch asafetida
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 or more Thai green chiles, sliced fine
9-10 curry leaves, ripped to release more flavor
4-5 purple kokum, chopped fine
A good pinch of citric acid crystals
2-3 tsp sesame seeds
3/4-1 cup raw peanuts
1/4 cup dalia
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
7-8 cups Kolhapuri kurmura (puffed rice, found at the Indian store)
Heat oil in a large kadhai or wok or pot on medium-high. When it shimmers, add black mustard seeds. When they pop, add asafetida. Turn down the heat to medium-low and add cumin seeds.

Next add green chiles and ripped kadipatta (curry) leaves. Toss.

Add kokum. Enjoy the aroma!

Add sesame seeds, followed by peanuts, dalia and turmeric powder. Add salt and sugar and stir until peanuts are cooked, about 5 minutes.
Add kurmura in 2-3 batches. Tossing constantly.

Allow the kurmura to get crispy. Adjust seasonings and enjoy with a hot cup of tea!

Store in an air-tight container. It’s all gone in a couple of days.

Many thanks to Anjali for the suggestion of using kokum in bhadang, an invaluable tip that she suggested seven years ago. I haven’t forgotten! And many thanks to Aparna for sending me gorgeous kokum from Goa that I hoard like gold.