Sara Dhanani

Archive for the ‘Favorite Recipes’ Category

Broccoli Cheddar Dumpling Soup

In Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian, Week night meals on August 22, 2021 at 1:18 pm

It’s 102 degrees here in Phoenix and this soup is still a regular on rotation here!

Recipe – full disclosure, I don’t measure fully and have taken lots of short cuts which I have added. This comes together in like 20ish mins.


2 tbsp avocado oil
1 shallot or onion if you like, diced – approx 1/4 cup
1 or 2 spoons all purpose flour
Pinch of Cayenne
Pinch of nutmeg
2 cups 2% milk
2 cups water or broth
10 oz of broccoli florets ( I get these from WFM, pre cut)
Shredded carrots – like a 1/2 cup
1.5 cups shredded cheddar
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste

And the biggest cheat evaaaa! Premade biscuits. I defrost 3 of these and tear them up. This brand is amazing ( Mason Dixie Biscuits – buttermilk).

Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add oil and diced onion/shallots and cook till translucent, add all purpose flour and cook till it’s lightly colored ( basically to get the rawness of flour out).
Add water or broth, then milk. Add broccoli and cover the on medium heat. Cook till broccoli is tender, mash with the back of a spoon to the consistency you like. Add salt, pepper, cayanne, nutmeg.
Bring to boil, in the boiling soup add torn up biscuits (make them the size you like your dumplings to be). Cover and simmer till dumplings are done. Add cheese, gently stir and done!

Matchi Bhaat

In Curries, Favorite Recipes on February 27, 2021 at 5:00 pm

I finally attempted a recipe my grandma used to make. It has intimidating me for Oh so long.

This is a delightful, fragrant fish curry which my family would serve with dill rice and fried fish with potatoes. My aunt sent her version and I changed it a little bit to make a saucier curry to serve with rice.

This traditional Sindhi recipe is made with dill, cilantro, green chilies, and preferably made with a firmer white fish. It’s a little labor intensive, but totally worth the time.

3 Cod fillets cut in 1/2 or 3rds
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch dill
4 cloves of garlic
1-2 green chilies
2 teaspoons rai – black mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds – crushed with a mortar and pestle along with 2 tbsp of cumin seeds
2 tomatoes ( my aunt didn’t use these but I thought they added a lot of flavor)
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Cayenne
Salt to taste ( I needed a full teaspoon in the curry and also in the rice)
3 potatoes ( peeled and cube 2 and slice one potato)
2 cups basmati rice – wash till water runs clear and then soak in water till ready to use.

In a magic bullet/blender, blend 1 bunch of cilantro, 3/4 bunch of dill, garlic and chillies with 1 cup of water. Keep it aside, we will use 1/2 for the fish curry and the other half for the rice.

Fish Curry: my family used to make this very watery and serve with fried fish. I didn’t have the patience for that, so I made it with a thicker curry and it was really good)

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pot ( wide would be ideal, but anything works), add 1/2 of cumin/coriander, 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, cayenne pepper and then 1/2 of the dill/Cilantro mixture. Let it fry. Add 2 chopped tomatoes and keep sautéing ( if it sticks, add 1/4 cup water) until the curry has some oil leaving it. Add 1 cup of water, bring to a simmer and add the sliced potatoes ( this was my addition, traditionally no potato in the curry) and cod. Cover and let it do it’s thing. You can cook it to your desired consistency.

Rice –
Heat oil in the vessel of your choice, add Rai seeds, rest of cumin/corriander seeds, 1/2 tsp of turmeric and then the rest of the cilantro/dill mixture. Chop the rest of your dill ( other 1/4 from the bunch) and add that now. Sauté. Add 3 -3.5 cups of water – bring to a boil. Add cubed potatoes, salt to taste. Once the water is boiling, drain the water from the soaked rice and add rice to the boiling water. I cook by estimating so 1:1.5 ratio is was I use (rice/water). Bring rice to boil, once boiling, lower heat and cover the pot till rice is done.

Thai Red Curry Ramen

In Favorite Recipes on February 18, 2021 at 11:41 pm

This is a super easy and delicious quick meal! It seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really not. While the water is boiling for the ramen, I make the curry. Then while the curry is cooking, get the broccoli in the oven.


Two cans of coconut milk

8 oz Ramen

Two tbsp of Thai red curry paste

1 chicken breast cut into 2-3 inch strips

16 oz Chicken Broth

1 tbsp of avocado oil

1 shallot chopped finely

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped finely

Broccoli or Brussels Sprouts


Heat 1 tbsp of avocado oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven, add finely chopped shallot and garlic. Sauté till fragrant, and then add 2 tbsp of red curry paste and sauté, till oil separates a little. Stir the coconut milk and add to the pot, mix it well. I prefer 2 cans but you can use 1 if you don’t like it too coconuty . Add chicken and let it cook in the coconut curry. Add 1/2 of the chicken broth. Simmer till done

In a separate sauce pan bring water to boil. Once boiling add ramen. Once ramen is cooked ( it cooks fast!) drain water, and add the ramen to your coconut curry.

You could add Brussels or Broccoli to curry, but I like toast them in the oven at 400 for 10 mins. It’s basic – layer parchment over a baking sheet. Spread broccoli or Brussels, a sprinkle of salt and into the hot oven for 10ish mins.

To assemble, dish out ramen, the ladle with some curry, and some veges to top!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

In Cookies, Dessert, Favorite Recipes on April 10, 2020 at 10:13 pm

The perfect chocolate chip cookie is chewy in the middle,  crispy at the ends and disappears by the next morning when you have a bunch of little ladies in the house.



  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips 



Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment paper on your baking pan. Cream the butter for a minute or so on medium speed in your stand mixer. Add in both the sugars and cream till light and fluffy (medium-high speed). Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Next add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix gently (I use the stand mixer for the whole recipe). Add 2 cups of chocolate chips and mix one last time. Place the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop up 1.5 inches of dough, make a ball and flatten gently in your palms. Place the cookies 3 inches apart on your baking pan and bake till edges are brown and centers still pale. Gently transfer to a cooling rack.

Goes perfectly with a glass of milk!

Chicken Stew

In Favorite Recipes, Meat & Poultry, Whole 30/Paleo on January 8, 2017 at 1:53 pm

It’s the new year and time to build better eating habits. I am planning to switch to eating paleo most of time ( I’m a desi girl at heart and giving up all carbs is gonna be unnatural). I don’t think carbs are the devil, but over time I have realized that certain carbs don’t agree with me, so eventually would like to add back chickenpeas and bajra. 

For now though, I am going to do a whole 30 challenge. I love to recreate old recipes, making them healthier. Knowing that you are actually feeding your body, rather than the feeling of hunger. That’s powerful, to nourish all of you. 

Back to whole 30. I love certain aspects of this plan, the emphasis on cooking, using healthy ingrediants, getting rid of sugar and processed foods, and breaking the cycle of your weaknesses.

This sweet potato and chicken stew is insanely good. It’s hearty and the kind of food that warms up your soul. And it’s made in your insta pot. Yes!


1 chicken breast cut up in bite sized pieces

1/2 of a sweet potato cut up in bite sized cubes

16 ounces of tomato purée/ strained tomatoes

2 cups chicken broth 

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped up

1/4 of an onion chopped up tiny 

1 – 2 jalapeño peppers chopped up

1 tsp dried oregano 

1/2 tsp of chili powder 

1 tsp ground cumin

1 bay leaf

A punch of garam masala ( trust me)

Salt to taste 

A sprinkle of pepper

A handful of spinach 

1/2 a bellpepper cut up in thin strips.  

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil ( not extra virgin)


Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and sauté garlic and onion till its translucent. I do this on the sauté mode of the insta pot. Add chicken and cook till its opaque. Add your spices and sauté till fragrant. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes, sweet potato and chicken broth. Switch over to slow cook mode on the instapot and let this deliciousness cook for 2 hours. Now add the bell peppers and spinach and cook for another 2 hours. It smells divine! The warmth of the garam masala and cumin is so comforting in the winter.