Indian Small Plates Recipes + Video

Few months ago, I met a lovely mom-daughter duo, Debbie and Ariel at an event in Redwood City. I really enjoyed meeting them and we stay connected. They started  Food Guru, a marketing and video production company. They create content for food and beverage industry. We collaborated to do a cooking video of my favorite recipes. It was so much fun to do a video shoot with Ariel. She is so talented!

We shot videos of 4 dishes – welcome drink, entree with a side and a dessert. They are simple and tasty Indian recipes that can be whipped by even a novice. This could be the menu for your next Indian themed dinner party. I hope you will try the recipes from the video. Watch our video here. 



Panagam is a drink made in South Indian homes on Sri Rama Navami (is observed as per Tamil calendar in the beginning of April). Summer season begins in India from April. Being a molecular biologist, I want share the significance of this dish and the reason why it is served for this festival. It is made with a mixture of jaggery, ginger and cardamom. It has all the ingredients present in rehydration solution. Jaggery used in panagam is a natural sweetener  made from sugar cane molasses. It is not processed like sugar so it contains iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Ginger and cardamom has properties to aid digestion. My grandmother once told me that drinking panagam helps with urological problems, cold, cough, asthma and ulcers. It acts as a coolant in the hot sweltering summer. I shared a simple base syrup and added ginger soda for some fizz. You can also add some fresh lemonade or orange juice for added flavor.

Serves 4


  • 2-3 blocks jaggery
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon ginger- grated
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup mint – muddled
  • 1 liter ginger soda

Cooking Directions

  1. Boil jaggery (Indian sugar made from sugarcane molasses) with water, ginger and cardamom.
  2. Once cooled, mix ginger soda and muddled mint leaves.

Lemon Quinoa

Lemon rice is a popular lunch box dish in India. As a kid, I will look forward my lunch break at school if my mother had packed lemon rice for me. It tastes amazing with spicy potato kari. As you all know, I have been hosting a lot of  pop-up diners in San Francisco and diners love to try quinoa, kale, jicama presented in a new way. Afterall, quinoa and kale has become a California thing 🙂
I am adapted my mother’s recipe and replaced the rice with quinoa. The concept is very simple. The base mixture is like salad vinaigrette. You can add any grain you want to it and top it with a grilled protein and some sauteed veggies to make it a completely balanced meal.
Serves 4 
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive or sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon urad dahl (lentils)
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 2-3 dry red chilly or fresh serrano or thai chilly
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1/2- 1 lemon

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat oil, add mustards seeds, urad dahl, curry leaves, dry red chilly, asafoetida, turmeric powder, ginger. Turn off the heat.  Mix cooked quinoa. Add lemon juice and salt.

Cumin Dish

  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive or sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 10 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup water

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat oil and add cumin seeds, garlic, onions, potatoes,  peas and saute well. Finally sprinkle chili powder and mix. Pour water and cook until done, 15-18 minutes.


Coconut Almond Bites

  1. Mix powdered almond,powdered unsweetened dessicated coconut with cardamom powder and condensed milk. Mix into a dough and make tiny balls and press them flat

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