Mango Chutney, Prosciutto and Paneer Pizza (Gluten Free)

So, a little while ago, I had quite the conundrum to deal with. I had a craving for Indian food, yet I also wanted pizza. The two cuisines seem to have little common ground, but luckily I found a solution, a very delicious solution.

Now, this pizza has a lot going on. I initially thought that the flavors would be too much and not go to together at all, but somehow they all work. The tomato paste and mango chutney, which were the two ingredients I had the most hesitation about, were absolutely great together. I also added some caramelized onions to the pizza, just because caramelized onions make everything better.

Now, let’s talk gluten. If gluten is not an issue for you, go to Trader Joe’s and buy some of their frozen naan and you are all ready to make your pizza (I recommend the garlic naan). You could probably also buy any naan, frozen or fresh, or even some large pitas to substitute. Basically any thick flat bread or pizza crust will work. If gluten is an issue, this recipe might be a little more work. I made pizza dough from Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust mix. It’s not really too much work, just some mixing, sitting, rising, waiting, pre-baking, waiting but it’s worth it. I know there are pre-made gluten free crusts available, but I was just using what I had in the pantry. When I had the gluten free pizza crust ready for it’s pre-bake, I sliced up some garlic cloves, sprinkled them on the crusts, brushed with a bit of melted butter and put them in the oven. This was my attempt at getting the gluten free pizza crust to be a little more like garlic naan. It worked perfectly.

Mango Chutney, Prosciutto and Paneer Pizza (From Food Network)

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sweet mango chutney
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled paneer cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 large green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • A glug extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 frozen naan bread (recommended: Trader Joe’s) or gluten free pizza crust
  • 4 slices prosciutto, torn
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the tomato paste, mango chutney, minced garlic, and water over medium heat, until well combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes and then remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the mozzarella, paneer, red pepper flakes, cilantro, green onion, ground cumin and extra-virgin olive oil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Add more red pepper flakes if you like it spicy!
  4. Arrange the naans on a cookie sheet. Divide the tomato-mango chutney sauce evenly among the naans, spreading to coat the top. Evenly divide the cheese mixture among the naans. Throw in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisped around the edges.
  5. Meanwhile, tear the prosciutto into small pieces. When the pizzas are ready, top them with the fresh prosciutto. Cut each naan into 4, and serve!

Chickpeas Curry with Tomatoes & Spinach

This is a quick and easy vegan curry. It’s super tasty and you probably have the majority of the ingredients on hand already. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal and it will make your kitchen smell amazing.

After reading some of the comments on the original recipe, I used less than the original amount of liquid called for since most people seemed to find it too watery. I also substituted broth for the water just to create a bit more flavor. If you don’t have red chiles on hand or can’t find them you could easily substitute jalapeños, bell peppers or even canned chiles.

Chickpeas with Tomatoes & Spinach (from

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ finger length piece fresh root ginger, shredded
  • 2 mild red chillies , thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon tomato purée
  • 3/4 cup/200 ml low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 14-ounce/400g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 pound/200g baby spinach leaves
  1. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the onion over a medium-low heat until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further 5 mins until the onions are golden and the garlic slightly toasted.
  2. Add the turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin, stirring over a low heat for a few secs. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and add the tomato purée, then simmer for 5 mins.
  3. Add the chickpeas to the pan and add in broth one 1/4 cup/100ml at a time. Simmer for 10 mins before stirring in the spinach to wilt.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Curry

I’ve had a hankering for London lately and the only cure, apart from a plane ticket, is some delicious Indian food. Yesterday I shared a delicious recipe for aloo gobi, today we shall move on to some chicken curry.

The curry paste is easy enough to make yourself if you have all the ingredients on hand, but if you are running short on time or don’t have all the ingredients, it’s easy enough to cheat and use a ready made sauce. I would recommend a brand like Patak’s. I used to use their products all the time when I lived in London, but I’ve been seeing it more and more stateside as well. Any grocery store with a decent international section should carry it. If you live in Southern California, I know that Von’s, Ralph’s and Fresh & Easy all carry it. 

Chicken Curry (adapted from ‘Chicken Korma’, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, p. 74)
Serves 4-6

  • 1 3/4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 fresh green chile (optional)
  • a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger root
  • a small bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans
  • peanut or vegetable oil
  • a pat of butter
  • 1/2 cup korma or mild curry paste (recipe follows or use ready made paste like Patak’s)
  • 1 14-ounce can of coconut milk
  • a small handful of sliced almonds, plus extra for serving
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups natural/greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon
  1.  Cut the chicken into approximately 1-inch pieces. Peel, halve and finely slice onions. Halve, seed and finely slice the chile if you’re using it. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Pick the cilantro leaves and finely chop the stalks. Drain the garbanzo beans.
  2. Put a large casserole-type pan on a high heat and add a couple lugs of oil. Add the onions, chile, ginger and cilantro stalks with the butter. Keep stirring it enough so it doesn’t catch and burn but turns evenly golden. Cook about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the curry paste, coconut milk, half of the sliced almonds, the drained garbanzo beans, and sliced chicken breasts. Half fill the empty coconut milk can with water; pour it into the pan, and stir again.
  4. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Check regularly to make sure it’s not drying out. Add extra water if necessary. When chicken is tender and cooked, taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. Remove from heat, plate serving and top with natural yogurt on top and sprinkle the rest of the almonds. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Mild Curry Paste (adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, p. 99)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 fresh green chiles
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • a small bunch fresh cilantro
  1. Peel the garlic and ginger. Put a frying pan on medium heat to high heat and add cumin and coriander seeds. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown. Then remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder. When ground, add the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste.

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi has always been one of my favorite Indian dishes. It’s usually thought of as a side dish, but it’s a proper curry in it’s own right. The combination of cauliflower and potatoes might seem a bit bland at first, but the spices really bring together a tasty dish.

Aloo Gobi (from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, p. 88)
Serves 4

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 fresh green chiles, to your taste
  • a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger root
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 a cauliflower
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • peanut or vegetable oil
  • a pat of butter (omit if making vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Peel, halve and finely chop the onion. finely slice chiles. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Pick cilantro leaves and finely chop stalks. Discard the outer green leaves of the cauliflower, break into florets. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3/4-inch cubes
  3. Put a large ovenproof panon a medium to high heat and add a couple of lugs of oil and the butter. Add the onion, chiles, ginger, cilantro stalks, mustard seeds, turmeric and cumin and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until softened and golden. Stir in cauliflower and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 2/3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on until the veggies are cooked and soft. Check the curry regularly to make sure  it’s not drying out, and add extra water if necessary.
  4. Stir pan one more time, then put the pan into the preheated oven for another 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro leaves, and serve with some lemon wedges for squeezing over.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Corn, Tomato & Potato Curry

I made this quick and delicious curry for lunch the other day. Start to finish, it too about 20 minutes. It would have taken less if I had read the ingredient list before hand and realized that the potato was meant to be cooked, but it still turned out to be great. I added some chopped red and green onion for some extra flavor and I also accidentally dumped in about 4 times as much cayenne as I wanted. The pepper definitely was noticeable, but not overwhelming at all.

Corn, Tomato & Potato Curry (adapted from this recipe)

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 medium cooked waxy potato, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 medium tomato, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1-4 oz. can of green chiles
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 3 ounces coconut milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mustard and 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin seeds. Cook until fragrant, add the garlic and potatoes. Cook, stirring often, until the potatoes turn golden.
  2. Add the tomato, cilantro and green chile. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer, then add the corn and stir to combine. Add coconut milk, salt, and lemon juice. Stir and bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until the corn is cooked through.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Easy Masala Chai

I love chai. Love it. But not the gross stuff you get at a coffeeshop. If you have never had homemade chai, get on it. It will change your life. Slightly sweet, slightly peppery; it’s love in a mug mason jar.

The first time I had chai was in India from a roadside stall that we were told to avoid, well we were specifically told to avoid all dairy, but when in India… and armed with cipro, dairy wasn’t even an issue. There is something about the dairy in India that was way better than the dairy I’ve had anywhere else. The chai was better, the lassis were better, the ice cream was out of this world.

Honestly though, the best benefit of homemade chai, is the fact that your house will smell amazing.

Chai is traditionally served warm, but if you know me in real life, you probably also know that I a slight major OCD problem about drink temperature. It’s just one of those things. I hate hot drinks, I hate warm drinks, I hate room temperature drinks, I hate any drink that is not ice cold. Even when I lived in Budapest, in the middle of winter, everything still had to be iced (the only exception I made was for the forralt bor (mulled wine), but that’s totally different). And that is why my chai is iced and in a mason jar. Plus, everything tastes better out of a mason jar.

Next time I make this, I will definitely double the amounts of everything. We only got enough for a small mug for Mama CC to try and one round of my mason jar.

Easy Masala Chai (adapted from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, p. 263)

  • 1/16 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon clove powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 5-6 generous grinds of the pepper grinder
  • 3 bags of good, unflavored black tea
  • 2 cups of milk (I used Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  1. Put 3 cups water in a pan. Add the cinnamon, clove, ginger, pepper and tea bags. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to very, very low, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the mild and sugar. Stir and bring to a simmer. Pour through a fine strainer and serve.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Mushroom Bhaji and Basmati Rice

I’ve had a real hankering for Indian food lately. A couple weeks ago I made some UH-mazing Channa Masala and I just haven’t been able to get enough since. When I lived in London, we went out for Indian food all the time and we would go out of our way to get ingredients and spices to make Mexican food at home. Being back in California, I can get Mexican food anytime I want, but good Indian food is something hard to come by. Last night when I realized I had the makings of a fantastic Indian feast, I set about making dinner right away.

I’ve realized in my past couple Indian food making experiences, it’s not nearly as daunting as I originally thought. Actually, I’ve found Indian cuisine to be quite approachable and delicious. Tonight’s Indian feast was comprised of Chicken Tikka Masala, Mushroom Bhaji and Basmati Pea Rice.

Mushroom Bhaji is one of my favorite Indian dishes and it has been my standard order anytime I’ve gone out for Indian over  the last couple years. Mushroom Bhaji, Bombay Aloo (potato) and pilau rice. Perfect Meal! Tonight I decided to change things up with Chicken Tikka Masala. I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe and, while I can’t vouch for it’s restaurant authenticity, it was absolutely delicious. I also used the rice recipe as well.

Mushroom Bhaji (adapted from this recipe)

  • 14 ounces white button mushrooms, stems remove and thickly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons water

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno and garlic. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, coriander, chile powder and salt. Stir together. Add mushrooms, water and tomato paste. Stir until everything is coated. Cover pot and reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir halfway through. The dish should be stew-like. If it is not thick enough, or the mushrooms aren’t yet tender, remove the lid and cook for a few more minutes.

Chicken Tikka Masala and Basmati Pea Rice (From Pioneer Woman’s recipe)

This recipe was absolutely delicious and the rice was amazing as well. My chicken came out with a lot more liquid than PW’s looks like it had, but the rice quickly helped out that situation. Also, the ‘marinade’ for the chicken, ground cumin, ground coriander and yogurt (I used greek) was amazing. You definitely could have eaten the chicken alone when it was done under the broiler.

Channa Masala, Aloo Palak and Pure Deliciousness

While living in London, I naturally developed an obsession with Indian food. Sure, I’d had Indian food before in California, in Budapest, hell, even in India, but it was never something that was on my everyday radar. Well, moving to London changed all that. The first Indian meal I remember going to in London was to Preem and Prithi for Lauren’s birthday. That meal signified the beginning of the obsession. I’ve been hard pressed to find an Indian dish that can even compare. I was close to giving up. I had resigned myself to Trader Joe’s frozen Indian meals. Not bad considering they come from a microwave, but just not good.


Yesterday, while I was in Trader Joe’s, I was looking at the Channa Masala box. Despite having purchased it many times, for some odd reason I decided to look at the ingredients. Once, I realized that I had all of these ingredients at home in already, I hatched a genius idea of making my own Indian food! Best idea I’ve had all week. Maybe even all year.

Just trust me when I say that you need to make this right now. You can thank me later.

Channa Masala (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 5 tablespoons diced tomatoes (I used canned, diced tomatoes with garlic and onions)
  • 1/2 cup broth (I used vegetable broth)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
Melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown. Add garlic. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, and turmeric. Stir until combined and cook for 30 seconds or so. Stir in the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chickpeas and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the paprika, garam masala, salt, and lemon juice. Cover and cook at a simmer for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


Allo Palak (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 1/4 cup frozen spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno, diced
  • 4 small waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • vegetable broth (if needed)
Boil peeled and cubed potatoes until done. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Cook spinach, garlic, onions, jalapeno, ginger until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Once soft, remove from pan, place in blender and blend into a puree.
Heat remaining butter in pan, add cumin and heat until fragrant. Add spinach mixture and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in potatoes, garam masala, coriander and a dash of broth if needed. Simmer for a few minutes to let the potatoes absorb the flavor.