Archive for Cook Once Eat Twice

Not Your Grand Mother’s Matzo Ball Soup



Make it exactly I say and you will have a perfect matzo ball soup. Pay special attention to making of matzo balls. Serves 2, twice. Or serves 5 people.


For soup: 

  • 2 chicken quarters with skin and bone, dark meat only (this is lots of chicken, feel free to use less)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • Salt as per taste, somewhere between 1 tsp to 2 tsp or more

Optional Spices: these will give the additional oomph to your soup.

  • 1 ” cinnamon
  • 3 pods of cardamom (whole cardamom)
  • 5 – 10 black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1″ ginger crushed
  • muslin cloth

For Matza Balls: I made them instant Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix however not as per their recipe but my recipe.

  • 1 packet of Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil


Tie all the spices except turmeric in a muslin cloth. In a large stock pot boil water and all soup ingredients including spices in a muslin cloth and turmeric but salt. Let everything boil for a 5 minutes then let the chicken cook on medium heat. Once the chicken is cooked (when chicken is cooked it starts to separate from the bone of the drumstick.)

While soup is getting ready start with matzo balls. In a bowl combine 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of oil and beat it for a minute or till transparent strands in the egg disappear. Add a single packet or matzo meal and mix it with a fork, till there is no dry meal left. Don’t over work it. Cover it and set it aside, no need to refrigerate it.

By now if the chicken is cooked, carefully take it out on a paper towel. Debone the chicken and put the bones back in the broth. Add 1 tsp of salt to the broth and taste it, add a little more if you need more, make it little less seasoned that you need. The salt from matzo ball is going to mix with the broth too.

Discard the spices and bones from the broth.

Now divide matzo ball in 5 parts (not 8-10 as the packet says) and lightly, extremely lightly shape it somewhat like balls. If you try for a perfect ball, you will be working the dough too much and the balls won’t fluff. This is the most important part in a great matzo ball soup. Drop the balls one by one in the simmering broth. Cover the pot and let it cook for a good 10 minutes.

If making for more than 2 people take matzo balls that are ready out and add another batch of matzo balls to the broth.

Alternatively you can use the broth next day and add another batch of matzo balls then. Don’t make a huge quantity of matzo ball and save it. The balls taste good only when they are freshly made.

To serve: 

In a bowl place some chicken (the one you deboned earlier) pour some broth and 2 matzo balls. check for salt. Add a pinch or two if you need some more.


Mint Chutney

Mint Chutney

This one goes well with lamb and chicken dishes. You can save it for a week and use it in sandwiches also. Just a simple slice of bread with butter and this chutney tastes so wonderful. One of the things I miss after being gluten free.

Mint Chutney


  • 2 cups mint leaves
  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, peeled


Just put everything in a blender and grind to a smooth paste. Cover it if you arent serving it immediately, it looses it’s flavors if left open.


Grey Goose Chicken

Grey Goose Chicken

That’s how I use left over vodka. Yeah in our household we are usually left with leftover alcohol. Then I use it for desserts and marinades, it changes everything!

This chicken has just a hint of spice, perfect for those who cant handle spice. It’s Carlos certified. 🙂

Grey Goose Chicken


  • 4 chicken legs with skin on
  • 1/2 cup grey goose
  • 1 tsp red chili powder/ cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil


  1. Marinate chicken legs in a ziplock bag with Grey Goose, cayenne pepper powder and salt for 30 minutes to an hour is sufficient. If you are marinating overnight or for more than 2 hours then put it in a fridge.
  2. Preheat an oven at 400deg F.
  3. Take the chicken out of the ziplock bag and lay it over paper towels. Dab it with paper towels on top as well. Dry it carefully so that there are no excess liquids but pepper powder stays.
  4. Place the chicken legs over a rack in an oven trey and let them bake for 50 minutes.
  5. After 50 minutes, take them out and brush some oil. And bake for 30 more minutes.
  6. Take it out and serve with mint chutney or mint jelly.
  7. In case you are planning to serve little later or your guests are late, you can cover it with an aluminum foil, leaving some room to let the steam escape.






Simplest Whole Chicken in Oven, Way Better Than Rotisserie

Just a few simple ingredients and even simpler recipe! No need to tie, no over night freezing, no brine. Just simple crispy and soft chicken.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp oil



  1. Empty the chicken’s cavity and dry it with paper towels, inside out. 
  2. Drizzle salt and pepper over the chicken, no oil yet. Place the chicken on a baking rack in a baking tray. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 deg F and bake the chicken for 50 minutes. 
  4. Take it out and drizzle oil and thyme over it. Bake for another 30-35 minutes. 
  5. You can let it rest for 5 minutes or so and your yummy chicken is ready. 



Oatmeal Bars or Cakes or Something like that

I have been making these for last two weeks and every time I make them I learn something new and improve. The most evolved version is dates and walnut, dessert edition. 

These healthy scooby snacks have replaced anytime cookies. Sometimes they become our desserts and sometimes on the run breakfast. 

Just mix up and load them in before dinner and they are ready by the time your finish dinner. That’s how I make them. You may choose to make them on Sunday and eat all through the week. 

I don’t remember where I read the original recipe, I will add the link when I find it again. Till then use my version(s). 

dates and walnut breakfast bars


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp flaxseeds (for healthier version)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips/ 2 tbsp brown sugar/ 2 tbsp agave syrup (use any one of these for dessert version, you can use lesser quantity for normal healthy version)
  • 1 cup chopped banana+strawberries/ banana+black berries/ dates/ apricot (select any one)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (go well with dates/apricots/black berries) or pistachios (look pretty with strawberries)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (for dessert version)
  • 1 tsp vanilla or 1/2 tsp almond extract


  1. Heat the oven at 350 deg F
  2. Mix all dry ingredients, nuts and fruits in a oven trey.
  3. In a bowl beat the egg. Add milk, extract and butter (if using) to it.
  4. Pour the wet mix into dry mix.
  5. Tap the trey gently. So that dry and wet ingredients mix well.
  6. Bake it for 25-30 minutes.
  7. When ready it wont be as hard as granola bars but for because of the way they look, everyone will call them bars!

blackberry banana




Very Red Goat Curry, Slow Cooker Recipe.

I am always been attracted to very good looking goat curry. However making it red has risks of it becoming too spicy. But not anymore! Finally I found them, the kashmiri chili peppers. Bought them at large Indian grocery store called Waltham India Market. Waltham is a mini India near Boston, and that’s why the store has largest collection of groceries and snacks in the region. 

Very Red Slow Cooker Goat Curry


  • 1lb goat
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4″ cinnamon
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups shopped onions
  • 6 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1″ ginger, crushed
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 4 kashmiri red chili peppers
  • 3 tbsp grated dry coconut
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp honey


  1. Start with soaking red chili pepper in a cup of water.
  2. Crush the spices, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, coriander seeds and mustard seeds in a stone mortar. If you don’t have a mortar just put the. in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow sauté’ pan on high heat. Arrange goat pieces in a single layer. Sear for 4 minutes on each side. Then transfer them to the slow cooker.
  4. Add the crushed spices to the oil, when you can smell the spices, follow it with coconut. Then add turmeric, onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and honey. Once onion is translucent add tomatoes. Turn it with a spatula on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Let it cool for a while. And then grind it a smooth paste in a food processor.
  5. Add this spice paste, salt and 2 cups of water to slow cooker and cook it for 4 to 8 hours on comparable heat.







Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Part of Southern treat last night, this was my best chili so far. Till now I didn’t wait for chili to simmer for hours. I thought chili is cooked, once everything else is cooked, what do I need to wait for? But the key to success is in letting everything cook together for hours. Learnt this from observing the best chili maker, Z Dad. He is my competition when it comes to chili, lamb, banana fosters, stuffing … I try to make these better than him, but never succeed. Z says, it’s good but not like Dad’s. 


  • 1.5 lb ground lean beef
  • 0.5 lb ground turkey
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 4 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp or more salt


  1. In a large pan brown beef and turkey. No need to add oil if your pan is non stick, beef has enough fat.
  2. Mix everything in slow cooker and let it cook for 4 hours on high or 8 on low.
  3. It’s ready to be served with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

It taste like Maharashtrian Usal’s meat version, so I always dream of eating it with a fresh pav. 




Crab Masala

This is the best thing I could ever do to a crab and the best crab I have ever eaten. My eyes water, nose runs but the heart and stomach bless me for satisfying them. In addition to time for cooking you need lots of time available to eat this crab, only then your heart and stomach will be happy like mine.

To get that happiness from your crab, you need:

  • 2 lbs crab legs, washed and dried on paper towel
  • 2 chopped onions divided
  • 1 tsp shredded ginger
  • 8 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 cup dry coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves
  • 2″ cinnamon
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 8 black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add all the dry spices from chill pepper flakes to cumin, fry it for a while.Follow it with coconut flakes, half of onions, ginger and garlic. Keep turning till the mix is evenly browned but not burned. Blend the mix with 2 tbsp of water in a blender to form a smooth paste. Set it aside.
  2. Now fry the rest of the onion in a pan till it’s translucent. Add the spices paste and crabs. Mix it and simmer it covered for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Uncover and mix it well for another 3-4 minutes. Finish it with fresh chopped coriander. Tastes the best with rice or savory pancakes/ crepes or dose.


Mutton Curry = Goat Curry. Never Ever Lamb Curry.

“Every single bite was an explosion of perfection, sauces, texture, meat, it felt too good for it to be legal.” – Zach Braiker on today’s Goat Curry. 

I have been making lamb curry in US for last 3 years and have been cursing the quality of mutton. It took me 3 years to realize, what I was looking for was goat and not lamb? Yes people, what you get in the US is mostly lamb and what we eat in India in the name of mutton is Goat. And lamb being gamey, does not taste good in curry. 

You may not find goat in all stores. Market Basket’s target market being immigrant population, it will be your best place to find goat. Cheap and fresh. ($4.29/lb)

Today when I made this Goat curry, I made double the quantity, thinking we will take it for lunch tomorrow. But finished it ALL. 

In Zach Braiker language “I feel like a drunk puppy after the meal, I just want to roll around on my back and hug myself, YUMMY!”

 Here is what you need to make people feel like that: 

  1. 1.5 lb goat shoulder cut, preferably Australian.
  2. 1 tsp turmeric
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 4-5 cups water
  5. 1 tsp coriander seeds
  6. 1 tsp cumin
  7. 2 cardamoms
  8. 2″ cinnamon
  9. 4 cloves
  10. 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  11. 1/2 cup dry coconut flakes
  12. 1 onion, 1/2 sliced and 1/2 finely chopped (I used pearl onion instead of finely chopped onion, looks and tastes even better)
  13. 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  14. 1/4″ ginger piece, crushed
  15. 1 potato, cubed
  16. 2 tomatoes chopped
  17. 1/2 cup coconut cream/milk (optional)
  18. 2 tbsp coconut oil (you can any other oil, but coconut gives better flavor)

And this is what you will do: 

  1. In a deep pot combine goat, turmeric, salt and water. Bring it to boil and then simmer for 2 hours. Use pressure cooker if you have, in that case cook for 5 whistles.
  2. While goat is cooking you can prepare the spices. In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil and then add dry spices from #5 to #11. You may crush the dry spices before adding them to pan. I crush them in a tiny mortar that I have.
  3. Once the spices are nice and brown, add sliced onion, garlic and ginger. Turn it on medium heat till the mixture is brown but don’t burn it. Blend it in a food processor with some water to form paste. Set it aside.
  4. Check if the goat is cooked. It should break easily or separate easily from a bone.
  5. Heat rest of the oil in the pan and add chopped onion and cubed potato. keep turning till both are little crisp.
  6. Take the cooked goat out with the help of slotted spoon and add it in the pan. (you can use the stock for something else) Follow it with the spice paste and turn it for 2 minutes and then add tomatoes.
  7. Cover it and let it cook for 10 minutes. Check for salt, add some more if it’s not enough.
  8. Finish it with coconut cream and chopped coriander, bring it to boil and serve with flavored rice or dosa.


PS: Don’t worry even if you forget a few things or don’t have a few ingredients, it will still turn out to be good.






Manglorean Chicken Stew and Mushroom-Bell Pepper Stew

Whether it’s winter of New England or it’s monsoon in mumbai this chicken stew is my most favorite comfort food. It’s spiciness scale being somewhere between soup and curry, it satisfy all senses without overwhelming. 

South Mumbai has many Manglorean restaurants, most popular one is Mahesh Lunch Home. Somehow I never developed deep love for Mahesh Lunch Home (exception Huge Crab Masala with Sonal, my BFF) instead I always loved Apporva. And this is where I was introduced and fallen in love with Chicken Stew with Appam. I don’t know how they make it but this is how I think they do. It’s tried, tasted and approved. 

This time I made it to celebrate, first snowfall of the season. 

You need: 

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs, cut in smaller pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped and divided
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 4″ cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk


  1. Heat oil in a pan and add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black and red chili pepper, followed by onion. Keep turning it on medium heat till the mixture is brown. Grind it in a food processor to make smooth paste.
  2. Add rest of the onion to the pan, add chicken to it when onion turns translucent. Mix it well and cover for 10 minutes. Add salt and the spice paste. Mix it well. Cover for another 5 minutes  or till the chicken is completely cooked.
  3. Finally add coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Eat it with appam or with oatmeal crepes, tastes good with plain white rice as well.
  5. The left over sauce can be used to make mushroom and red bell pepper stew. Or just be creative and add any 2-3 vegetables of your choice, bring it to boil and eat it over rice. Tastes better than the previous day.

Things to be careful about:

  • See to it that you cook the spices really well before making the spice paste.






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