Welcome to My Weekend Kitchen – a space for mindful cooking with real ingredients. Here, I share traditional and contemporary Indian recipes peppered with food experiences from our travels around the world. Whether you are looking for healthy, easy-to-do one-pot weekday dinner ideas or elaborate weekend meal inspirations, you will find yourself at home here.
The recipes here vary from one-pot meals like a mung daal khichdi to elaborate restaurant style recipes like shaam savera. Some are festival specific like Sheer Khurma for Eid-ul-Fitr while some make a regular day, a festival, like the warm pear crumble. Some, like the Gem squash with chunky salsa, are inspired by our travels while others like Caldo Verde are inspired by the different countries we have lived in and called home.
In 2016, following a health scare, I was nudged to relook at everything we ate by a naturopath. I believed I was doing everything right. We ate simple home-cooked food for most of our meals but I didn’t realize how processed and refined food was sneaking into my pantry and in our bodies. (Read more about my food journey here)
We rediscovered our whole relationship with food and cooking. Since then my cooking has changed in many ways:
- Mindful cooking with attention to ingredients and their source.
- Lots of raw cooking. You will see many raw salads and smoothie recipes since 2016.
- Increased use of whole-grains and millets. Even in baking, I’ve completely stopped using all-purpose flour.
- More vegan cooking. The only thing currently stopping me from turning 100% vegan is the use of clarified butter (ghee) in many Indian recipes. Ayurveda celebrates ghee as a superfood and it is a quintessential part of Indian cuisine. I am not yet able to give it up completely. And occasionally use of cheese esp paneer and eggs.
- Reduced eggs. As of now, I do eat eggs once in a while, but I am now slowly phasing them out by substituting eggs with flax eggs in baking or using alternatives for vegan omelets.
- No meat or seafood. While the archives do have some non-vegetarian dishes, we have since 2016 stopped eating and cooking non-vegetarian food.
Note: Nutritional information, when shared is an estimate for one serving of the dish and not an exact measure.
- As far as possible,
- All our ingredients are locally grown, seasonal and organic.
- We stay away from everything that comes packaged in a bottle so really no shop bought bottles of ketchup or pasta sauce. When my niece saw home-made ketchup she exclaimed “but isn’t ketchup something we buy from the supermarket?” 🙂
- When it says salt, it is always sea salt or pink rock salt. Rock salt for sprinkling and sea salt for cooking.
- We use no readymade spice mixes. We used to but not anymore. Some of the past recipes here, do call for them but now we have made our own home-made spice mixes and will be happy to share.
Measurements & Conversions for Recipe Ingredients
All the recipes here use standard US cups, tablespoons (tbsp), and teaspoons (tsp) measures found in most kitchens today.
- 1 cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = 15 ml
- 1 tsp = 5ml
As I was learning how to cook from my mother, aunts, grandmothers, and other elders; they would always measure ingredients by hand and estimate. One fistful of rice per person is my mother’s estimate that works every time! But a beginner cook like me needed weights or volume and I figured using volume was easier as I just needed to measure the ingredient in a Measuring cup or spoon and use it. My spice box has a “one teaspoon (5ml)” measure spoon in it so every time I add spices to a dish, I know how much went.
I measure all my wet ingredients and dry ingredients like grains, lentils, and beans in the standard US cup measure (240 ml). All measures, unless specified, are with a level full and not heaped. An egg, unless specified, is a regular medium sized (~60g) organic egg. 1 cup butter is roughly 225g.
A word of caution: While trying out any recipe, make sure you use the same measure throughout. For example, if a recipe calls for three different types of lentils, use the same cup measure for all three.
Read More about My Food Journey…
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This blog is a labor of love. If you liked and/or tried any of the recipes here, I would love to hear your experience. Rate the recipe, leave a comment, share a photo with #weekendkitchen on Instagram or connect with me on our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest profiles.
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With lots of love!