Lemon Butter Shrimps

Try my easy lemon butter shrimps tonight!

Lemon juice, Olive oil, butter, salt and black pepper over shrimp.

Broil on high for 5-6 minutes flipping once till the shrimps turn opaque. Easy, Healthy and flavorful!


Spicy idli upma breakfast!

Photo: Recycle Friday special! "Recycling" left over idlis for a spicy idli upma breakfast! Deets up on the blog soon! What's your favorite "recycle" recipe?

“Recycling” left over idlis for a spicy idli upma breakfast!

2 cups of crushed left over idlis (idlis should be cold when crushed into a chunky consistency)

1 small onion chopped fine
1 clove of garlic minced fine
1 Tsp mustard seeds
1 Tsp urad daal
1 green chilli chopped fine
1-2 sprigs of Curry leaves
1-2 Tbsps of fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

Saute’ onions and garlic for a 2-3 minutes on medium heat till they turn translucent. Add the mustard seeds and the urad daal and continue to saute’ till the daal turns golden brown.

Add the curry leaves and the chillies. Mix well. Add the idlis, turmeric and the seasonings. Mix well till the mixture turns a pale yellow. Add the lemon juice and toss well. Finish with fresh cilantro.


“Bread poha”

“Bread poha” made from leftover pieces of bread.

Laced with curry leaves, peanuts, green chilies and lemon juice.

photo 4

To serve 2-3 generously;

2-3 cups of left over bread (crust-less), chopped into small chunks.

1 small onion chopped fine

1 small tomato chopped fine

1-2 green chilies chopped fine

1-2 cloves of garlic minced

1/2″ ginger root, skin peeled and grated

1-2 Tbsp raw peanuts

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig of curry leaves

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves chopped

Juice of 1/2-1 lemon

1 tsp turmeric powder

1-2 tsp of curry powder

Salt and black pepper to taste


Roast peanuts on medium heat for 6-8 minutes till the raw smell goes away.

Roast peanuts on medium heat for 6-8 minutes in 1 Tbsp of OO  till the raw smell goes away.



Add the onions, curry leaves, mustard seeds and green chilies. Saute for 6-7 minutes till the onions caramelize.

Add the onions, tomatoes, curry leaves, mustard seeds and green chilies. Saute for 6-7 minutes till the onions caramelize.


Add the bread chunks. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with fresh cilantro and a big squeeze of lemon.

Add the bread chunks.  Add the spices. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with fresh cilantro and a big squeeze of lemon.

photo 4

“Skinny” 3 beans hummus


1/2 cup of each; Cooked (if using canned, then rinsed and drained)

Black Beans
Cannelini beans

2 cloves of garlic (smashed)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh mint

1/3 cup of Olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup of water

Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cumin powder

Blend all. Add more water depending on your textural preference. Check for seasoning. Let chill in the fridge for atleast 30 minutes before serving.




Super Burgers!!

To make about 5-6 good size burgers;


1 Cup cooked quinoa

1 Cup cooked (rinsed/drained) black beans (Keep 2 Tbsp aside)

1 Cup of Kale leaves chopped roughly without the ribs

1/4 cup of carrots chopped

1-2 Green chillies (optional)

2 Cloves of garlic minced

1 tsp Coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala

Salt and black pepper to taste


Super Burgers!! Full of Super foods!! Quinoa, Kale, Black Beans!


Chop/Coarsely blend fresh Kale leaves (without the ribs), Garlic, carrots and black beans to a chunky paste.


Consistency should be as above.



Mix the Quinoa with the Black bean mixture



Mix the left over black beans in the mixture to add some texture. Add the salt, pepper and the spices.



Make hamburger patties (about 1/4″ thick) and cook in a skillet with a tsp of oil. (4-5 minutes on each side on medium heat).



Serve hot/warm or at room temperature. I served this with fresh Avocado guac and mango pineapple salsa.


Paranthas! (Griddle flatbreads)

Growing up in a North Indian “Punjabi” home, “Paranthas” (Griddle flatbreads) are what sweet tea is to the South here in the States. It is absolutely essential! Paranthas are nothing but Griddle flatbreads stuffed with a variety of fillings. Seasoned Vegetables, minced meats etc. The most traditional Parantha is a potato (aloo) or cauliflower (gobi). Below is my recipe for a fresh “Methi” Fenugreek parantha. I added some boiled potatoes to it to cut the bitterness of the greens out. You can also make these with Kale, Spinach, Collards etc. Enjoy!


To serve 2-3;


1 cup of fresh Fenugreek leaves

1 medium potato boiled (peeled and mashed)

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

Salt and pepper to taste


1-1/2 cup of whole wheat flour

3/4-1 cup of luke warm water

1 tsp ghee/oil


Oil/ ghee to cook the paranthas


Fresh "Methi" Fenugreek leaves; Washed, Drained, Chopped fine

Fresh “Methi” Fenugreek leaves; Washed, Drained, Chopped fine

Mix Methi with boiled potato and fresh minced garlic

Mix Methi with boiled potato and fresh minced garlic; Mash all the ingredients well.

Add the flour, oil and water. Season with Salt and pepper and knead into dough.

Add the flour, oil and water. Season with Salt and pepper and knead into dough. Use water sparingly as required. Kneading is key here to activate the gluten.

Make a hamburger patty almost and flatten it using the palm of your hands.

Make a hamburger patty almost and flatten it using the palm of your hands.

Roll the patty using dry flour.

Roll the patty using dry flour.

Cook on a non stick griddle/skillet on both sides to a nice golden brown. (3-4 min each side) with a tsp of oil/ghee.

Cook on a non stick griddle/skillet on both sides to a nice golden brown. (3-4 min each side) with a tsp of oil/ghee.


Enjoy hot with fresh yogurt, pickles and fruit jam (YES, It’s the best!!)


Pongal !

Happy Pongal, Happy Lohri and Happy Sankranti!

Growing up all over India exposed me to so many different types of festivals and culinary delights to go with them. One of my favorites growing up was the festival of Pongal. It is predominantly a harvest festival just like Lohri and Sankranti (which is celebrated primarily in Northern India). The festival of Pongal and the dish “Pongal” are unique to the Tamil cuisine and the state of Tamil Nadu in India. However, I have been told that some Tamilians in Sri Lanka also celebrate this occasion.

I was fortunate enough to be raised by parents who celebrated and partook in every local cultural event and festival and being married to a Tamilian, Pongal is an “adopted” festival for me. (Look at my posts on my other “adopted” festivals).

There are multiple kinds of the dish “Pongal”. My favorite is the sweet version or the “Sakkarai” Pongal. My husband is not a big fan so I made this instead. It’s a savory version called the “Ven” Pongal.

Hope you enjoy my version of “Ven” Pongal”.

Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal


1 Cup of Rice – rinsed and drained

1/2 Cup of Moong daal – rinsed and drained

2″ ginger root peeled and grated/minced

1-2 Bay leaf

2 Tsp cumin seeds

1 Tsp whole peppercorns

2 Tbsps vegetable oil/ghee

Salt and pepper to taste

5 cups of water (more depending upon the desired consistency)


Heat the ghee/oil on medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Let sputter. Add the ginger and mix well. Add the rice and daal and roast for about a couple of minutes to release the aroma.

Add the water, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Pressure cook for 15-18 minutes. Let the steam from the cooker be released naturally and don’t force open the cooker.

You can add more water and cook a bit more depending on your preference of the Pongal. Some people like it mushy and some like it a bit firm. I like mine like a risotto.

Pressure cook rice and lentils

Pressure cook rice and lentils

“Tadka”/ Seasonings to temper

1-2 Tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig of fresh “Kari”/ curry Leaves

2-3 Green chillies chopped (Optional)

2 Tbsp cashew pieces

2 Tbsp raisins (optional; I like them so I put them in this version)

2 Tbsp ghee

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the ghee on medium heat and add the mustard seeds. Let sputter. Add the “Kari” leaves and the chillies. Mix well and be careful not to burn. Add the cashew pieces and the raisins on medium heat and brown a bit.

Be careful as the dry fruits may burn if you don’t watch over them. Add the Pongal in the mixture and heat through. Check for salt and pepper.


Mix the tadka with the Pongal

Mix the tadka with the Pongal

Serve hot with pickle if desired.

Come cook with me at Amelie’s!! Scrapbook

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.. I hope this scrapbook of pics and posts convey the energy, the excitement and the fun we all had at Amelie’s (THE BAKERY in town) where we gathered to cook together.. 

Happiest when my hair is up and am cooking 🙂

Our fabulous class!

Setting up !
Garam masala and Saffron
Let us begin.. 

Chopping.. and then some more

Smelling the delish saffron!

Chop away!
Grinding the saffron and sugar

Mixing with the mascarpone cheese
Chop chop chop away

Hamming it up for the camera!

Did not get the memo on closed toe shoes.. hmmm.. 😉

Chopped.. finally!

Well.. hi there!
The spice box..

umm… spices… 

Big pot means BIG THINGS are happening!! 
The Indian spicebox.. 
Mixing it up.. 

Stefanie showing us how to grate ginger
Let the cooking begin.. 


Saffron pilaf
Say Pakora!!!
When you cook, you shall taste!! Love the spirit of our “Home Chefs”..

Chicken makhani cooking away.. yummm

Did I mention, it was “them” who cooked and not me  ?? 😉
Shahi tukda stuffed with saffron infused mascarpone cheese

Frying pakoras.. delish!
Nothing like enjoying garam garam (hot hot) pakoras..
These ladies were so cool.. 

Chicken Makhani and Saffron pilaf

Loved these kids.. so much fun.. !

Dessert time !
Some heavy conversation happening there.. 
Enjoying the fruits of our labor..
Fun times!
 A heartfelt Thank you for cooking with me!

Q&A time at the dinner table.
Let’s eat!

Come cook with me !! at Amelie’s!! Sneak peek..

So, Freaky Curry had an opportunity to cook with some of Amelie’s fans last night.. 
What’s Amelie’s you ask ? 
SHUT UP!! (That’s the 13 yr old in me).. 
You don’t know ? It’s like the best bakery in town.. It’s like heaven on Earth.. It’s like the best coffee in Charlotte.. It’s like.. you get the picture.. It’s Amelie’s for crying out loud!! Salted carmel brownies ? 
SCB babies!! They make them.. It’s all Amelie’s!! 
I cannot talk about them enough.. 
So, I finally had a chance to cook at Amelie’s as a part of their cooking series that they host at their special catering and events location off of Plaza rd… At the Annex.. 
The Annex is a beautiful venue.. Great space for church gatherings, book clubs, showers and even weddings!
Do check them out the next time you are looking for a cool and a funky space to host your event. Stefanie Haviv and team are a pleasure to work with. 
Here I am.. Getting all set up for the class !

The menu and recipe cards for all the “students” to take home

Lil Amelie’s goodie bags.. filled with leftovers !
Umm.. Vino.. 

Something to nibble on with their wine and beer.. So thoughtful.. 

Battle ground.. lol .. The kitchen.. 

Our fabulous sous chef.. ..

Me just posing.. The folks below did all the cooking 🙂

Our fabulous class!! Really enjoyed everyone’s spirit in class..
What a treat to cook with you all..

Detailed post with pics coming up soon!! Watch this space closely 🙂

"Destination- eating": Weekend away to Charleston

So if you remember my past blog on
 Destination Eating, my hubby asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said “I want to eat” 🙂 .. so I guess my girlfriends read my blog and took that and my desire to be at the beach to heart and treated me to a lovely weekend in Charleston, SC.  (My home away from home).
So here we are all set at 6:30 in the morning for our beach/culinary weekend!!

We have ARRIVED!! at the beautiful Isle of Palms.

After a few hours of soaking in the sun and sand.. It was time to start the culinary part of the trip.. First stop Hucks!! 
Glorious shrimp tacos with a pickled red onion topping (Try Freaky Curry’s own recipe for pickled red onions for your tacos the next time)
Delish Fish tacos with fresh feta!! salty and oh so crumbly… The fish was lightly battered and fried. Crisp on the outside and flaky on the inside. 
Homemade ice cream!! Say what ?? YES PLEASE !!
Cinnamon honey, watermelon sorbet, classic Vanilla.. 
YES, YES and YES!!
Perfect sampler to share. not too sweet and oh so light.. Cinnamon honey was everyone’s favorite, hands down!
After a scrumptious lunch, it was time to check into our hotel in historic downtown Charleston.. 
Champagne check in at the fabulous French Quarter Inn right in the middle of the historic downtown district.
What fabulous service!! (As I finish my second glass of champagne)..
 After a little rest and primping  up, we headed downstairs for a wine and cheese reception.. 
Oh Fabulousity!! LOL

Getting ready to hit the town!! 
Yes we match ! We know and we love it !! and so did folks in Chucktown..;)
Tried to get into Husk but no bueno.. miscommunication between us and the hostess plus it was too much to ask them to seat 5 of us together at the same time.. Mind you they don’t take reservations and yet they were committed for the night.. It was around 7:30 PM.. so I’m not sure what gives.. hmmmm.. 
Dinner and a birthday serenade at the amazing Magnolias..Had to wait an hour for a table but that gave us a chance to strut our stuff downtown and have a cocktail at the High Cotton which was hoppin’ !! Good looking patrons everywhere !! Good sights 🙂

Ah the smells and sights at Magnolias.. Delish.. Food smells and sights..  🙂 (I know what you were thinking).. 
None of us drank as we were swimming in wine and champagne by this point.. stuck to good ole’ H2O!!.. 🙂
Pickled Shrimp housemade benne seed crackers

Pickled shrimp –Almost like ceviche.. with a sesame cracker.. 
Boiled Peanut Hummus pickled okra, hot pepper relish, Charleston flatbread
Peanut hummus with almost fried wonton like strips for dipping and pickled okra.. a lil nutty and dense .. different.. a little chalky but a neat concept.. 
Salt and Pepper Fried Shrimp blackened grit cake, green tomato chow chow, peach jezebel sauce.

Salt and pepper shrimp—- DELISH!! came with a sweet and tangy relish..polished this off in a second.. 
Pan Seared Lump Crab Cakes lowcountry succotash, tomato butter

Crabcakes.. ’cause you are in Charleston baby.. you gotta have crabcakes.. delish, petite, light on breading.. nice sauce as an accompaniment. 
We girls were on a mission.. I loved it that everyone partook in the celebration of eating.. Yes I just called eating a celebration.. LOL.. 
We are not shy about our eating good food and drinking good vino.. Love my ladies..  🙂
After this, we also shared a filet, a salmon and a chicken entree’.. (No pics.. sorry).. Too busy eating and laughing I guess.. 
The girls tricked me into getting serenaded by this amazing man.. 
He sang “Happy Birthday” to me Opera style.. You have to ask for him the next time you go there.. I had goosebumps.. literally.. 
My birthday Creme Brulee’ medallion!! Made of chocolate..  🙂
Perfect for me and the rest of the girls to nibble on..  
So full at this point that we are not thinking or walking straight..Dresses are feeling a tad tighter, heels are hurting.. then we get asked by a random (happy on alcohol) man, if we were here for Salsa night.. and then we said “Lets’ go for salsa”.. 
Checked out the Saturday salsa night at the Southern Brewery.. 
Saw some “real” Salsa dancers put up a great performance.. 

Fun times.. So glad we went !
Got back to our comfy beds around 1:30 AM.. 
Night Night..

Next morning, after a leisurely Parisian breakfast at the Inn which included savory and sweet pastries, fruits accompanied by Mimosas and the works, we headed into the market for some sight seeing and walking around.. Found a great little restaurant Barbara Jeans.. Excellent service and El cheapo.. 

The pic below doesn’t do justice but the crab cakes (yes again) were falling off the fork.. the Fried okra was crisp and NOT greasy.. the red rice (not too heavy on the tomato) and the dirty rice were both distinct in flavors and oh it had flavor!!

Oh well.. We came, we saw and we ate.. and we ate and then ate some more… 🙂
Adios!! We’ll be back soon!! What a fun trip.. 

Thanks to all my chicas for bringing me out here to jump start my birthday celebrations.. Here’s to many more !!