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.

Panagam (South Indian Soda)

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. 
Course Drinks
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4


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


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

Lemon Turmeric 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.
Course lunch
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp canola or olive or sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp urad dahl (lentils)
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 2-3 dry red chilly or fresh serrano or thai chilly
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1/2- 1 lemon


  • 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 Potato Peas Curry

Coming at you with a delicious Indian weeknight recipe that comes together quickly and needs very basic ingredients most of which you probably already have at home! One of those recipes that I can always make, even when I don’t know what else to make because the fridge is almost empty! This is a simple vegetarian Indian dish originating in the Punjab region of India. It is made of potatoes and peas in a spicy thick onion tomato gravy. The dish is made throughout the country in a few different versions.
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


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


  • 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

You can get creative and use melted chocolate or fruit syrup. Remember, I used very little amount of liquid as the oil from almond brings them together so we have to use a base sweetener that will add the right amount of sweetness and also not make it watery. Sidd as always was curious to join hands with me. He calls me his boss and we are a team. He tried his best to roll it without cracks. I rolled them into a ball and he pressed it into a shape of coin. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 cup dry dessicated coconut
  • 3/4 cup unsalted raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup condensed milk, use as per need


  • Grind the coconut with almonds together  to combine. As you grind the almonds will leave oil that will help them come together. Remove to a clean bowl with a spatula.
  • Now add condensed milk starting with 1 tablespoon at a time and using hand keep kneading them to form a dough. It should have the consistency of pizza or roti dough.
  • Pinch a little, roll into a smooth dough and press between the palm to flatten it out.
  • Garnish with crushed almonds.

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