Saffron and Cumin Seed Crackers

Saffron and Cumin Seed Crackers

I've made crackers in the past, and they are not too difficult to make at all. The secret is to roll the cracker dough as thin as possible so that they come out crispy. These colorful crackers are gently spiced with cumin seeds and saffron. Break them up to into pieces after they come out of the oven that are convenient for your purposes.

These crackers are a special treat to serve along with a bowl of soup and make an ideal addition to an appetizer platter with favorite spreads, dips and sauces and other little nibbles, such as cheese and olives. I made up a batch of homemade guacamole and I had plenty of crackers leftover too to enjoy for a couple of days afterwards.

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Punjabi Chole Masala (Chana Masala)


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Punjabi Chole Masala (Chana Masala)

Chana and chole mean chickpeas, and a masala is a blend of spices in powder or paste form. Chole masala and chana masala then are the same kind of dish, but there are many different variations depending on the region of northern India and the choice of spices. One thing that all chole masalas have is a spicy and tangy sauce made almost always with onions and tomatoes. I've showcased several versions of chana masala on my blog, but I always enjoy playing around with different variations.

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Luxuriously Thick Spicy Tomato Chutney


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Luxuriously Thick Spicy Tomato Chutney

It is rare that I ever purchase chutney, tomato sauce or salsa, since they are very easy to prepare at home and much fresher with no undesirable ingredients besides. For instance, this thick and luscious spicy Indian tomato chutney is simply simmered for about 20 minutes, and it's so darn easy to make and totally worth the small effort putting it together. A bonus is that it keeps in a well-sealed jar in the refrigerator for at least a week and is made with staples you likely have on hand in your kitchen.

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Greek Sesame Tahini Cake with Spelt and Mixed Dried Fruits


I learned the basics of baking by watching and helping my mom in the kitchen as a child. While this was certainly a good introduction, I still used to pretty much follow baking recipes religiously when I started on my own. But now I take liberties and have even adjusted classic desserts containing eggs and dairy to ones that are suitable for vegans, with great success. This tahini cake — altered from Maria Speck's recipe — might now be my favorite vegan cake, next that is to my a classic olive oil almond cake.

Subtly sweet, moist and with a myriad of flavors from macerated dried fruits, vanilla, lemon juice, tahini and sesame seeds and likened by my best friend to a halva cake, that description fits the bill just fine, especially as he didn't know quite what to expect when I told him what I was serving up. This was enjoyed for dessert, but it also makes for a very satisfying breakfast or with a favorite cup of tea or coffee as an afternoon treat. A bonus is that is it easy to put together and you don't need an electric mixer — just a couple of bowls, spoons and measuring implements.

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