Harsh Winter. Stay Healthy With Indian Food.

NYC, February 3, 2014

NYC, February 3, 2014

New York is experiencing one of the harshest winters in recent years.

Some friends asked me from time to time what would be some of the best Indian foods to eat to stay healthy and strong. I’m writing below some of the quick recipes. Try them, and let me know how you did.

An adverse weather especially with the big snowstorms and coldest temperatures needs the right kind of food and other health habits to fight back and stay strong. Our immune system gets down fighting through the bad weather, and a proper kind of of healthy and delicious diet can boost the system back up.

Let me know if you need more information. This is just a brief introduction. I hope you come to my cooking classes here in Brooklyn, New York, and learn how to cook in an easy and happy way. My classes are all hands-on.

Email me at muktiskitchen@gmail.com . I’m returning to New York next week.

Below are some recipes.

Looking forward to see you soon,


Mukti’s Kitchen



1. Dal (red lentils, a high-protein and zero-fat legume).


RECIPE. — Boil one cup of red lentils in a covered container. In a flat skillet on low flame, add one teaspoon of oil, one bay leaf, one small red onion chopped, a few grains of black cumin (nigella or kala jeera), half teaspoon of turmeric powder, and just a little salt to taste. Warm up the mixture in the oil and wait until the onion turns brown. You might add the onions first and the spices later. Now, when the mixture is ready and paste-like, turn up the flame for a few seconds, and pour the boiled lentils onto it. You can feel and hear the singe on the skillet. Now turn the flame back down, and let it cook for five more minutes.

Your dal is ready. Now you can also add a few pieces of cilantro leaves for garnishing, if you like.

Serve in cups or small bowls. You can eat it just like that, or together with plain rice or hand-made bread.

Absolutely delicious, nutritious, and a major antidote against cold and flu. You can also have it recovering from flu.

2. Indian Chicken Stew.


Photo courtesy: Flicker.com photo sharing.

RECIPE. — One big onion chopped. A small piece of ginger grated. One tomato cubed. One large carrot cubed. One green bell pepper cubed, one large garlic skinned but not broken, one large potato cubed, a small cauliflower cut in large pieces.

Chicken pieces washed.

In a deep skillet, add one tablespoon of oil, and on medium flame, brown-fry onion, potato, cauliflower and carrot pieces. Add one half teaspoon of grated ginger, and equal amount of garam masala mix (you can get it at any Indian grocery store). Throw a bay leaf in it too. If you want to make it just a little more spicy (depends upon your taste buds), add a couple of green chilly. Add one half teaspoon of turmeric powder, salt to taste, and the whole, skinned garlic. Let it all mix to get a pasty look of the spices. Make sure the vegetables do not burn. Now, at the end, just before adding the chicken, drop the bell pepper and tomato pieces in it. You can also add some green peas now.

Now add the chicken pieces, and singe together for the next ten minutes. Gravy will come out of the chicken, and then slowly get absorbed into the mix. When you see it absorbed, add two small cups of warm water, and cover it up. Let it cook on low-medium flame for the next fifteen minutes. Do not overcook it; otherwise the vegetable will be overboiled.

Serve in bowls. Eat just like that, or with bread or rice.

Again, absolutely delicious, nutritious, and a major antidote against cold and flu. You can also have it recovering from flu.

Each of these dishes should not take you more than fifteen minutes to cook.



Garam Masala. Photo from Wikipedia.


Simple Indian Dinner You Can Cook Even On Weekdays

Simple Indian Dinner You Can Cook Even On Weekdays

Dear Friends of Mukti’s Kitchen:

This is a photo of a simple, home-made Indian dinner to let you know that you can cook it easily in a relatively short period of time. I invite you to try it too.

Why am I saying this?

Because, my husband made this dinner two days ago, on Monday, after coming back from work. He invited a friend to join him for dinner. Both men are now living in New York in this harsh winter all by themselves, because their wives are now traveling India and having a great time.


If he can cook it on a weekday after returning from work, you can do it too.

He said he made plain rice (draining off the starch), dal (lentils), cauliflower stir fry, some eggplant fritters dipped in besan (chickpea flower), a little tomato and cucumber salad with lime juice, and his favorite North Indian chicken curry. He made them all mild — spicy but mild — keeping in mind that his American friend does not like it too spicy or hot.

He kept a small amount of hot pickle in a small saucer, which he did not share with his American friend 🙂

I am glad he didn’t.


Have a wonderful day. I am returning to New York very soon.

Eager to see you and resume our cooking classes too.


Mukti’s Kitchen (www.muktiskitchen.com)

Writing from Kerala, South India (literacy rate in this state is 95%)



Mukti’s Kitchen is Traveling India :-)


I am in India on a spicy trip. I mean, a spice trip 🙂

I’ll be traveling East and South India over the next few weeks, and meet a number of food activists, enthusiasts, friends and supporters. I’ll also be collecting spices and other exotic ingredients.

Plus, with a few friends and relatives, I’ll be sightseeing India. It is a fascinating country: so rich in culture and traditions. Food is a very important part of this diverse land.

I plan to be back in early February. I’m scheduling my hands-on cooking classes right now, for February onward.

Hope you sign up, and sign on. Send me an email at muktiskitchen@gmail.com .

I wish you all a Happy, Prosperous and Peaceful 2014.

With dreams to make New York a healthy and delicious Indian food hub,





Thanksgiving Day Recipe: Spicy Cauliflower Curry

Thanksgiving Day Recipe: Spicy Cauliflower Curry

Today’s Recipé

Spicy Cauliflower (Stir Fried) Curry

1. Cut one cauliflower in small pieces.
2. Cut one medium size potato in cubes.
3. Chop washed cilantro and cube a tomato. (You can also have fresh peas and green chili pieces ready.)
4. On a skillet, smear a dash of oil.
5. Throw half teaspoon of Five Spice mix, and warm (do not burn).
6. Stir fry cauliflower and potato pieces.
7. Add a pinch of turmeric power, grated ginger, and salt to taste.
8. Mix gently without breaking the vegetables.
9. When the cauliflower and potato are soft and brownish, add the cilantro and cubed tomato pieces.
(Add the fresh peas and green chili if you like.)
10. Turn off oven, and let it sit, covered.




Diwali Cooking Class at CUNY :-)


Mixed vegetable korma

This Sunday, November 3, I had a very enjoyable cooking class at Macaulay Honors College at City University of New York, CUNY. It also coincided with Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

Over one hundred students participated in an international food festival organized by the prestigious honors program at the university, and they invited Mukti’s Kitchen to be a part of it. It was truly a very enjoyable event.

I showed up with my pots and pans and spices at noon, against a very difficult traffic situation because of New York Marathon happening the same day. They closed down all the bridges and tunnels to drive from Brooklyn to Manhattan. My family members carried those big bags full of utensils and ingredients on the subway train and we made it on time. Thanks, public transportation. Thank you very much.

From 12 to 8 P.M., for 100 students and teachers, I taught how to cook: Samosa, Pakora (fritters), Dal Puri (handmade bread stuffed with dal), Vegetable Korma (stir fry), Vegetable Polao (fried rice), Chana Dal with coconut, Palak Paneer (spinach with Indian cheese), tomato chutney, Malai Kofta (stuffed vegetable curry), and … Carrot Halwa.


Decorating on Diwali

I even posted the description on my Facebook page on the same day, and it generated a lot of positive responses.

The students who helped me out all day with chopping onions and rolling dough and frying fritters and stuffing samosas were simply great. I could not have done such a big job without them.

Dal Puri (Handmade bread stuffed with lentils)

Dal Puri (Handmade bread stuffed with lentils)

Thank you so much, everybody.

Anybody interested to learn (and eat)?

Join us on our next cooking classes. Visit my website.


Mukti Banerjee

Mukti’s Kitchen

Brooklyn, New York



Macaulay Honors College, CUNY

Park Slope Food Coop and Healthy Indian Food

Mukti's Kitchen on front page of Linewaiters' Gazette :-)

Mukti’s Kitchen on front page of Linewaiters’ Gazette 🙂

In the current issue of Linewaiters’ Gazette, official publication of Park Slope Food Coop, they published a front page article on Mukti’s Kitchen and how we cook and teach healthy and delicious Indian food here in New York. We are obviously delighted.


You can read the article here following this link. Feedback and comments would be much welcome.

I’m posting a few photos here and excerpts from the article below.

Happy Students and Me :-)

Happy Students and Me 🙂

“Banerjee always stresses
the healthfulness of home-
made Indian food. She
emphasizes the superiority of
Indian food prepared at home
as opposed to eating Indian
food out. She describes the
food in a restaurant as mass-
produced and made without
love. “Cooking is so therapeu-
tic, if you cook a good meal for
yourself and loved ones, it will
give you so much pleasure,
spiritually.” “

Park Slope Food Coop is a great organization based in Brooklyn, where they sell healthy and nutritious and organic, toxin-free produce at a very reasonable price. It is incredibly popular with thousands of members taking advantage of it. It is a true cooperative and a progressive food movement, where members WORK to get the great products at great prices.

My family and I are very happy to be a part of this food and environment movement. The more we get involved with such movements worldwide, the better for us and our children.

Thank you, Park Slope Food Coop and Linewaiters’ Gazette for such an extensive coverage of Mukti’s Kitchen.

Spice Box :-)

Spice Box 🙂

Mukti’s Kitchen, Featured in Edible Brooklyn

Photo Courtesy: Edible Brooklyn

Happy to report that Edible Brooklyn, a reputable culinary and culture magazine, published an article in its Fall issue.

Here’s the link. Please visit and share. Thanks for your comments and feedback.


Below is a segment from their article.

Notable Edibles:
Mukti’s Cooking Classes bring Masala to the Masses

First published in the Fall 2013 edition of Edible Brooklyn

“The secret, she tells a group gathered at her Kensington home for a class on Mughlai cooking, lies in her massive masala dabba. “Masala” means spice, “dabba” means box, and Banerjee’s is the traditional tin type you can pick up in Indian and Pakistani neighborhoods like her own. Banerjee has so many spices—from asafetida to nigella—they overflow the dabba and take over her dining room table.

You leave full of fresh flavors and new knowledge: how to gently roast spices before you cook, how frying oil tells you it’s time to add the next ingredient, that red onions have a stronger flavor Indian cooks prefer.

“I’m really lucky,” Banerjee says, “that I’m carrying my master craft from my mother and grandmother to my friends.” But walking home, smelling like a masala dabba, we know we are the lucky ones.”


I am very lucky, indeed.


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