Mar 6, 2018

Colorful Egg Omelette by Hari (a friend of spicetruck)

Spicetruck 'fan', a great cook and my good friend Hari Swarup shared his recent breakfast:

two homegrown chicken eggs (locally bought in State College PA), dill, sliced cherry tomatoes, homegrown basil (starter potted plant from Trader Joe's), crushed red pepper
and salt.

Cooked a low-medium heat with ~ 1 tsp butter.
Cooked eggs topped with lightly roasted cherry tomatoes, basil, dill and crushed red pepper flakes. Pic credit: Hari Swarup, State College PA

Mar 5, 2018

Beautiful red velvet Oreo cake. Terra Cafe, Morgantown WV.

Feb 16, 2018

Con-TEMPEH-arary Indian Cooking

Working with Tempeh (the Indonesian fermented soy protein), we made Tempeh-do-pyaza. This was accompanied by a south indian style  okra stir fry (non-slimy), cardamom flavored brown rice and a carrot pudding stewed in almond milk.

Ingredient List for Tempeh Stir Fry recipe:

  • Heat 2tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet, once oil is hot, add the dry spices - Cumin seeds, coriander seeds - let it splutter for a min, lower the heat and add dry red chilies, after lightly smoking them, add the tempeh and cook with occasional stirring, flipping so both sides appear fried.
  • Remove tempeh and set aside in a bowl. Reduce the heat. 
  • Next add remaining oil, add chopped onions, garlic and ginger and stir for 2-3 mins till they brown and release aroma. 
  •  Add carrots and sprinkle some salt, turmeric and cook for few mins, then add bell peppers and also reintroduce the tempah in the skillet and toss around well so it's coated well with the spices and vegetables.
  • Take off heat. Optional - Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and spritz with lime juice prior to serving (or provide a lime wedge with the dish). 

Jordan working the tempeh!

The finished meal
Some of the appetizers we had prior to the meal

Papads and chickpea-spinach hummus dip

Okra cury
Happy diners!

Dec 11, 2017

Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani

Preparation Time : 25 mins

Cooking Time : 20 mins Serves: 3 - 4


Basmati Rice - 1 1/2 cup Water - 3 cups

Fresh lemon juice - 1 tbsp Onion - 2 medium size Green chilli - 2

Ginger garlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp Tomato - 1

Salt to taste

Mint leaves - handful

Cilantro leaves - 2 tbsp chopped

Carrot - 1 large

Green Beans - 6-8, chopped to small pieces Fresh/frozen peas - 1/3 cup

Green or red bell pepper - 1/3 cup chopped (optional) Cauliflower florets - 10-12

Spice Mix

Chilli Powder - 3/4 tsp Coriander seed powder - 1 tsp

Optional enhancer: Biryani Masala powder- 2 tsp flat (available as a mix) Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

For the Seasoning

Oil - 2 tbsp

Ghee - 1 tbsp or butter 1.5 tbsp Cloves - 4-5

Cinnamon - 2 (1 inch piece) Cardamom - 2
Bay leaf -1

Fennel seeds - 1 tsp

For Garnishing

Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp finely chopped Ghee/Clarified butter - 1-2 tsp

Cashew nuts or almonds or pine nuts – 2 tbsp

Rinse and soak basmati rice for 15 mins. Drain the rice and keep it aside.

Cut onions thinly lengthwise. Slit green chillies. Rinse, cut cauliflower into florets and put the florets in salted hot water for 4-5 minutes. Drain the water and keep it aside. Chop carrots and bean into small pieces.

Frozen peas can be microwaved with a TBSP water for couple mins to soften them up.

In a heavy bottom vessel, heat oil + ghee, add all the dry spices mentioned under seasoning. Saute for a few seconds till the seeds start crackling.As it sizzles, add the sliced onions and green chilies

Saute till the onions start turning translucent, don’t let them brown.

Add the ginger garlic paste and lightly stir and saute till the raw flavor goes away. Next, add the tomatoes.

Stir for a min or two, then add turmeric powder, biryani powder (optional), red chili powder and stir for couple mins, then

Add all the vegetables. Stir and saute for 2- 3 mins.

Add the drained rice now, mix well with all the vegetable and spice powders by stirring.

Next add the water, salt to taste and raise the heat again to start cooking. Once it reaches a boil, bring to simmer, cover with a lid and stir occasionally, not too much to prevent mushing.

When cooked well, add the finely chopped cilantro and mint leaves. In a separate pan, heat up the oil and prepare the garnish by roasting the nuts. Add to rice over the serving bowl if serving from a separate bowl. Otherwise, add to the big vessel itself.

Serve warm with yoghurt. Or if you make raita, serve with that. You can also add grilled paneer pieces or grilled tofu pieces at the “add vegetable stage” to increase protein content.

Dec 1, 2017

Ginger Cardamom Chai

I grew up drinking chai (spiced Indian tea with milk). It is made in similar fashion across a wide region from the middle east to the far east.

A pictorial flowchart to making chai. Image credits at the bottom page.
List of ingredients:

2 cups

1 cups
cold water

whole milk OR.. Half cup half and half + water to make up.
2 table spoons
Loose black tea (Red Label or Taj Mahal) or some Darjeeling/Assam varieties
(OR 3 bags
(Sometimes I use Tetley black tea bags- Low mess option, slightly  weaker tea)

1 inch piece
fresh ginger (crushed in mortar and pestle or under a strong wrist)
2 teaspoons
black peppercorns
2 whole
cardamom pods (crushed in mortar pestle –
or use a pinch cardamom powder in a rush)


(OR 5 teaspoons



In a quart pan, add cold waer, spices, ginger and tea leaves. Start heating the water to a boil.

As the water just starts boiling, add the milk. (I microwave the milk to warm to speed up if needed).

if using sugar, you can add sugar directly if everybody has same "sweet" needs.
if using honey or different sweet needs - do not add sweetener here.

*** As it starts to boil again, switch off. Perhaps even move from the heat. This is the step where it routinely spills over, especially if left unwatched or on those glass top/electric stoves. **

Strain through a mesh strainer into cups.

Add honey, stir and enjoy.

Image derived) from my personal pictures and users: wikimedia commons (tea leaves, glass of milk, glass of water), (straining tea), (pepper)

Nutrition Info (Screenshot of my Recipe on MyFitness pal)

Sponsor Content