Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bitter Gourd Pickle

Bitter Gourd (Karela / Pagarkai) initially was force fed (and mostly so for many) to me... However, with time, I did realize that it is one of the richest vegetables. So, was keen to know the various dishes possible such that one can relish it. Stuffed, fried, spicy gravy with tamarind, are some possibilities. One that I found recently was that we can also make pickle out of the same.

I did try & believe me it went down almost everyone's throats so easily :)

Ingredients: (As I used)

Bitter Gourd : 2 big size (4 medium size)
Small Onions (Shallots): 10 (cut into thin slices)
Garlic: 10 pods (per your taste; cut into thin slices)
Ginger: 2 inches (per your taste; cut into thin slices)
Curry Leaves: to garnish
Gingely Oil: 4-5 tbspn (this pickle doesn't need excess oil & needs to be refrigerated)
Turmeric Powder:  1 tspn
Salt: to taste 
Mustard Seeds: 1 tspn
Fenugreek Seeds: 1/2 tspn
Tamarind: 1 small lemon sized (soaked in water)
Jaggery: 1 small piece (powdered)
Green Chilli: 5 nos (slit)
Red Chillie Powder: 2-3 tspn 
Hing: 2 pinch

  1. Clean, wipe, remove the seeds and slice them into 1/2 inch slices or desired shape (rings etc)
  2. Place them in a bowl, add a tspn of salt, mix it and leave them for an hour
  3. Pick the same mix and leave it in sun for a couple of hours to ensure they are dried
  4. In a deep pan, add a few tbspn of oil and fry these dried pieces in small lots, till they turn golden brown 
  5. Take them and place it on a plate with tissue papers to absorb the oil
  6. In another pan, add 2-3 tbspn of oil. As it heats up, add the mustard seeds. As they splutter, add the fenugreek seeds. As it becomes reddish, add the curry leaves. Saute for a minute.
  7. To this, add the slit green chilies, garlic, ginger, and onions. Fry them till they are cooked or become golden brown.
  8. To this mix, add the tamarind extract (to balance between the bitterness and spice)
  9. Add the red chillie powder, hing and allow it for a minute
  10. Then add Salt and the fried bitter gourd pieces to this. Mix well, and allow it to cook on a small-medium flame for 5-7 mts (if you have not fried the pieces well enough, then you will need to keep it for 10-12 mts to ensure the pieces are well cooked)
  11. Add the powdered jagery and mix well.
  12. Remove from fire and allow it to cool
  13. Pack it in air tight container & refrigerate it
You can serve this with hot chapatis and / or rice. Can also serve as dry subji if you make it less tangy and spicy.

Tips: Instead of tamarind, you can also use Lemon Juice or Vinegar

[Source: Customized from various online recipes]

Friday, November 15, 2013

Curry Leaves Gravy

Curry leaves (karuvepilai), is an inherent ingredient for most of Indian & Srilankan cooking, mainly because they grow well in tropical - sub tropical climate (thanks to encyclopedia :). It is high on minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins.

Mostly, it is used as a garnishing ingredient for its flavor and is mostly discarded (rarely does anyone eats curry leaves unlike coriander & pudhina). However, thanks to our grandmothers, we can make better use of these leaves & enjoy the full benefit by consuming them in better forms.

One such rich dish is curry leaves gravy that can be had with hot rice, idlis, pongal etc. You can store it for some time and refrigerate it for longer use. So, here you go...


Curry Leaves : 2 cups (preferably fresh but you can use dried ones too)
Green Chillies: 4-5 medium
Small Onions : 10-12 finely chopped (some use small onions as is; if rqd, you can use chopped big onions)
Chili powder : 3-4 tspn (as spicy as you need it)
Coriander powder: 
Tamarind: Lemon Size (Extract juice)
Salt : To taste
Mustard Seeds: 2 tspn
Uradh dhal : 1 tspn (half white)
Jaggery : 1 piece (optional)
Gingely Oil (til ka thel): 2 - 3 tbspn (oil allows you to store it for a longer duration)
Asafoteida (Hing): 2 pinch

  • Grind the curry leaves with green chillies to a smooth mix
  • In a non stick pan (or better a mud kadai), add oil
  • Add mustard seeds. As they crackle, add uradh dhal. Next, add the onions. 
  • Fry till the onions turn pinkish.
  • To this mix, add all spices, salt, and hing. Follow it up with Tamarind extract and curry leaves mix
  • Add water to allow the curry leaves to cook till the raw smell is gone
  • Stir and cook till the oil separates as a top layer
  • Add the jaggery (if rqd) and remove from fire
  • Allow it to cool before you store it in any dry air-tight container 
Note: If you have used high amount of oil then it can be kept outside, else, its preferred to refrigerate it. 

Serve it with:
  • hot rice & gingely oil
  • hot idlis / dosas
  • spread on bread as S/W
  • spread on rotis / paranthas 

Potato Spinach Dry Curry / Aloo Palak ki subji

Been attempting sweet dishes for a while now but me being a spicy person ;) had to balance it out with some spicy dishes. Potatoes are a given in anyone's kitchen and when you have some green fresh Palak (spinach) leaves, it will take just about 15-20 mts to make this medium-high spice dry curry.


Potato - 3-4 medium, boiled, peeled, & diced into cubes (ensure they are not over cooked)
Spinach - 1 cup (Cleaned & chopped)
Big Onion - 1 medium
Ginger - 1" slice chopped
Green Chillie - 1 slit (optional, only for flavor)
Chillie powder - 2 tspn (as spicy as you like)
Coriander powder - 1.5 tspn
Mango powder (amchoor) - 1 tspn (optionally, you can use sour curd)
Cumin Seeds - 1 tspn
Oil - 2-3 tbspn (as oily as you like it)
salt - to taste
asafoetida (hing) - a pinch


  1. In a pan, add oil. As it heats, add the cumin seeds. As they crackle, add ginger, green chilly, and onion.
  2. As the onion turns pinkish, add the powders, salt, hing and saute for a minute
  3. Then add the spinach and allow it to cook till it turns tender by covering the pan (it will cook in the water from spinach itself)
  4. Remove the lid and add the diced potatoes
  5. Allow it to cook for a couple of minutes so that the spices mix with the potatoes
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves or kasoori methi (dry methi leaves) or mixed dry herbs
  7. Remove from fire; Serve hot with chappatis or rice
Some cook the spinach separately and add it to the end. You can make it as spicy or bland as you like it. A healthy yet tasty dish for kids as well.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fig & Date Cake / Halwa

Dry fruits & Nuts prove to be a healthy and tasty ingredient for any many of your sweet dishes, baking, etc. I tried an interesting sweet dish suggested by great chefs like Tarladalal & Sanjeev Kapoor using Figs & Dates as the main ingredient. Turned out to be a healthy yet tasty sweet dish & the key being it doesn't require Sugar (unless you want to make it more sweety; even then you probably can try using jaggery rather than sugar)


Figs : 12-15
Dates: 12-15 (seedless)
Almonds: 15
Cashew: 12
Pistachio: 12
Raisins: 5-10 (optional)
Desiccated Coconut: 2-3 tbspn (optional)
Ghee - 1/4 cup 

  1. Soak figs & dates separately in a bowl of hot water for 10-15 mts
  2. Drain and make a puree using very less water (Separately & ensure dates are de-seeded)
  3. Chop almonds, cashews, raisins, and pistachios. You can chop them or coarse grind it in a mixer 
  4. In a pan, add the ghee. To it add the fig and dates puree. Stir well and cook in medium heat till the moisture is gone (10 mts ~)
  5. Then add the chopped ingredients. Continue to stir and cook for another ~ 10 mts. 
  6. Add the desiccated coconut and stir. Cook for another couple of minutes. As the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan, remove from fire.
  7. In a tray or glass vessel grease some ghee. Remove the mixture from fire and pour it into the tray.
  8. Spread evenly and allow it to cool (about an hour)
  9. Cut it into desired pieces and serve 
Happy since it was approved by my 'Aman', a 7 yr old :)

Alternate Method:

  1. Chop the dates & figs very finely (1 cup). In a pan, add a tbspn of butter / ghee. Then add 1 tbspn of condensed milk
  2. To this, add the chopped ingredients and fry them for 2 mts
  3. In another kadai, I fried the remaining dry fruits & nuts (cut into fine pieces), 2 tspn of desiccated coconut in a spoon of ghee
  4. After 2 mts (Step 2), remove from fire. Add the fried ingredients. Add 1-2 spoon of powdered sugar (if rqd).
  5. Allow it to cool a bit & make it to the desired shape. Easy to make them as ladoos.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gujiya : Sweet Dumplings, North Indian Style

Gujiya is a widely consumed snack from North India, most predominantly made during 'Holi' celebrations. But this is such a simple yet delicious dish & so easy to make that we can have it any time! I have always wanted to try these @ home and finally here I am!

I had last posted on Dumplings : Indian style. Gujiya is exactly similar to that but for the base ingredients used. Let me share what makes a Gujiya and allow you to try it on your own :)


For the cover
  • Refined Flour (Maida) : 1 cup
  • Sooji (Semolina / Rav): 2-3 tspn 
  • Ghee:  3 tbspn
  • Oil:  For Frying
For the stuffing
  • Khoya (Mawa) : 2/3 cup grated  (Click khyoa @ home recipe)
  • Sugar : 1 -1.5 cups (powdered)
  • Raisins : 15-20
  • Cashew : 15
  • Almond: 10
  • Any other dry fruits of your preference like Fig
  • Cardomom Powder: 1/4 tspn
  • Coconut: 2 tbspn (Desiccated or if fresh, grate & fry it till brown)
  • Water: 1/4 cup (cold water)
Home-made Khoya (Mawa)


To make the dough for the Cover: Sift the flour and add it in a vessel. To this, add ghee and with fingertips mix it to make it like breadcrumbs

To this mix, add the water and knead it to a smooth dough (don't beat it much). Cover it with a damp cloth and leave it aside for a while.

To make the stuffing
  1. If you are using fresh grated coconut (instead of desiccated), then first fry them to golden brown and keep aside.
  2. In a non-stick pan, add the khoya (mawa). Saute it for 2-3 mts and remove it from fire. To this, add all dry fruits and coconut. Mix it and then add the powdered sugar. Mix it to make the final stuffing.
To make gujiya:
  • Make small balls of the dough. 
  • Spread each one to a poori-size. After you make 4-5 of these start filling them and frying. (Don't make all of them and allow them to dry in the air)
  • Place the stuffing on one side of the poori. Moisten the edges of the poori with water. 
  • Now, cover the stuffing with the remaining half of the poori to a half-moon shaped gujiya (Alternatively, you can use the mould available in market). Ensure the edges are firmly closed

  • In a deep frying pan, heat oil. Ensure the oil is not very hot. Should be medium hot to fry gujiyas. Fry each till golden brown.
  • Place them on a plate with tissues because they are deep fried in oil. Cool them & store them in air-tight container.

[Thanks to @Chef Sanjeev Kapoor for this recipe]

Khoya (Mawa) : @ Home

Khoya (Mawa) is an often used ingredient while making sweet dishes like halwa etc. Rather than looking in the market for pure and good quality khoya, you can make it @ home and refrigerate it.

I had taken 4 cups of milk to prepare this.
Pour this in a heavy bottomed vessel or a non-stick pan.
On a high flame let the milk come to boil
Immediately, reduce to medium flame and allow the milk to reduce to half with stirring
Slowly it will boil down to a condensed form (all moisture is lost) with continuous stirring. (Ensure to scrape the sides constantly)
Home made fresh khoya is now ready

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rava Laddu : Suji ka Ladoo

Its in the air! Yup, the onset of the Festive Season in India has begun... Along with celebrations, its time to treat your taste budz and tummy with very minimal or no restrictions whatsoever :) What better reason for me to try my hands at attempting some sweet dishes; and ofcourse, I was inspired by @ Riddhika Ram's 2 sweet dishes that I happened to taste recently. But as a novice, I would like to begin with the basics; some easy to make but commonly liked and available sweet dishes. Though I am not such a fan for sweet dishes, I do want to learn these to treat those sweet toothed people in my life!

Beginning with the most simple and easy to make Rava Laddu or Suji ka Laddu. Flat 15-20 mts and the dish is ready.


  • Rava / Suji / Semolina : 1 cup
  • Sugar: 1 cup (3/4 cup, if lesser sweet)
  • Ghee:  1/4 cup
  • Cardomom powder : 1-2 pinch
  • Cashew nuts : A handful (I would like to add other dry fruits like badam / dry grapes etc)
  1. In a tava, add 1 tbspn of ghee. As it melts, make small pieces of the cashew nuts and roast them till golden brown
  2. Keep the fried cashews aside. In the same left over ghee, if any, roast the Rava / Suji. You can also dry roast them. I prefer to roast them till golden brown (approx 10 mts on medium flame)
  3. Allow the roasted rava / suji to cool for 5 mts
  4. Make a powder of the Cardomoms 
  5. In a mixer, add the cardomom (if not powdered smoothly), roasted suji, and sugar. Grind them just a little less fine (max coarse as possible so that it neither bites too much nor its too soft that it becomes sticky)
  6. Add the powdered mix in a big bowl. 
  7. Melt the remaining ghee.
  8. Add the ghee slowly to the powdered mix. Make a mix and start making the ladus when the mix is hot. 
  9. Yummy ladus are ready to be tasted
  • You can sprinkle a little warm milk if you are not able to make the ladus easily - this is something that I read but never tried
What went wrong:
  • During my first attempt, I didn't roast the suji enough. So, it had the raw feel when the ladus were made
  • I included Dried Grapes & Badam. While badam will go well, at times dried grapes may not synch in because it could be sour at times. Many may not like that flavor in rava ladu.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kuzhi Paniyaram : A spicy snack

Often when we get bogged down by the regular snacks or on a rainy evening or just for a want of change, we feel the need to try a different snack - if something hot & spicy is what you are looking for and that too in a jiffy, here is one such lip smacking dish : the famous from granny's kitchen, kuzhi paniyaram : the spicy variety

We have a lots to thank our grannys' for their tips & tricks, which are endless. The main ingredient to make the paniyaram is just the left over & a bit sour idli / dosa flour :)

Preparation Time: 15-20 mts


Idly / Dosa flour : Left over & a bit sour (else you can add a bit of sour curd) -- 2 cups 
Green Chillies:     4-5 chopped (As spicy as you like)
Black Pepper:      4-5 pepper (If you want to have a bit of pepper flavor; you can reduce the chillies if you add more of pepper)
Onion           :      1 Medium chopped finely
Ginger:                 1/2 " fine chopped
Coconut       :       A few pieces (finely cut into small pieces - I haven't added in this picture shown)
Salt              :       To taste (Only a spoon or so more to make for the sourness & added ingredients)
Curry Leaves / Coriander : A few (if rqd)
Oil :                      To Fry

  1. In a bowl, mix the flour (sour curd if the flour is not sour), and all other ingredients mentioned above. 
  2. Ensure consistency is semi-solid and not very watery
  3. Keep the Paniyaram pan (best suited are the non-stick pans available in the market) on a medium fire
  4. Add 1/2 a tspn of oil (lesser from second round)
  5. As the oil heats up slightly, pour a spoon of flour each (should not be overflowing)
  6. Close the pan and allow it to cook for 2-3 mts (max) - till they turn golden brown
  7. Using a knife or a bread knife turn it around & allow it to cook till golden brown
  8. Remove from fire & serve it hot with some interesting side dish : Chutneys / Sambhar 
    Tip: Alternatively, some do the following:
  • In a tava, add 2 spoons of oil and add mustard. As it sputters, add the chillie, ginger, and onions. Cook till the onion turn pinkish and then add the coconut and finally the garnishing leaves.
  • Remove from fire and add it to the flour & follow the remaining steps to prepare the paniyaram.


Onion & Tomato:
Onion: 2 medium
Tomatoes: 3-4 medium
Tamarind : A small peas size
Garlic:    4-5 pods
Red Chillie : 4-5 (splicy ones or you can also add red chillie powder)
Salt:     To taste

Fry each of the above in a spoon of oil separately and cool them before grinding the chutney (with salt). You can garnish it with curry leaves & coriander leaves; season it with spluttered mustard.


Coconut: 1 cup (grated or pieces that can be ground)
Fried gram : 1 tbspn (Potu kadalai)
Green Chillies: 3-4 (As spicy as you like)
Ginger:  1/2 "
Salt:     To taste

Grind them fresh (no fry rqd) with salt. Season it with spluttered mustard & udadh dhal and garnish with curry leaves.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dumplings : Indian Style

Dumpling is a dish similar to the well-known Chinese dumplings or momos. In India, this is a dish made of primarily the Rice flour and varied styles such as sweet (alias Modaks), salted, fried etc. Its considered to be the favorite dish of Lord Ganesha and is made to celebrate his birthday (Ganesh Chaturthi). It is famously known as "Kozhukatai" in South India.

While I've tried making the sweet kozhukatai also known as Modak, this year I also tried to make the salted kozhukatai. Good start with all liking what they got to taste! This is joined effort of mine & aunt (sangee's mom) based on recipes read on the web :)

Sweet Kozhukatai / Modaks
Salt Kozhukatai 
Kozhukatai Flour 

  1. Rice Powder: 3 cups (for both sweet & Salt kozhukatai) - You can buy the readily available rice powder or soak raw rice in water for about an hour, drain, ensure all water is absorbed via a cloth, and powder it in a mixer. Seive it to get the nice powder.
  2. Oil : Preferably Coconut oil - 2 tspn
  3. Salt : 1/4 tspn
  4. Water: 2.5 cups (same measuring cup as the one used for the powder)
  5. Milk : 0.5 cup
  1. In a pan, add water and heat it along with salt, oil, & milk.
  2. As the water starts to boil, add the rice powder slowly & stirring constantly
  3. As soon as the powder is mixed with the water, remove it from fire
  4. Mix it with hand to make it into a smooth dough. Sprinkle water and a bit of oil to mix it smoothly. If its too watery, add more of rice powder.
  5. Leave the dough covered with a cloth for a few minutes
Sweet Kozhukatai 

Stuffing Ingredients:
  1. Coconut : grated 1 cup
  2. Jaggery : grated 3/4 cup 
  3. Cardomom powder : 1/4 tspn (2-3 pieces powdered)
  4. Oil or Ghee : 2 tspn
  5. Water : 1/2 cup or lesser to just dissolve the jaggery
  1. In a pan, add water and the jaggery
  2. When it dissolves completely, filter it to remove any sand or other particles
  3. Add it back to the pan and allow it to start boiling
  4. To this add the coconut, ghee, and cardomom powder continuosly stirring it
  5. When it reaches a consistency like a ball with not sticking on to the pan, remove from fire
Salt Kozhukatai 

Stuffing Ingredients:
  1. Uradh dhal (Uzhutamparupu): 1/2 cup soaked in water for 2-3 hours
  2. Green Chillies: 2-3 (based on the spice level)
  3. Salt : per taste
  4. Curry leaves: 4-5 pieces
  5. Oil : 2 tspn
  6. Mustard seeds: 1/2 tspn
  7. Coconut (optional) : 1-2 tspn
  8. Asafotedia (hing) : a pinch
  1. Grind the soaked & drained dhal with green chillie, salt & curry leaves. Ensure its coarse & don't use much water. Sprinkle water (if rqd) and grind
  2. Take this mix, make it to into medium-sized balls & steam it (you can use idli plates by applying a bit of oil) - for 5-7 mts
  3. Remove & break the cooked balls
  4. In a pan, add oil. When its hot, add the mustard seeds. As they splutter, add this steamed mix along with hing and coconut.
  5. Cook them for 2-3 mts & remove from fire.
Making the Kozhukatai (both sweet / salt)
  1. Take a lemon-sized dough in hand, apply a bit of oil, and make it into a cup shape (shd be thin on the sides & deep in the middle)
  2. At the center, place a lemon-sized sweet / salt stuffing
  3. Close the cup into the desired shape - could be a round or horizontal or any other shape you can think of. Ensure the stuffing is fully covered & there is a balance between the dough & stuffing proportion.
  4. Once all made, take the idli plates, apply a bit of oil / ghee in each plate & place these kozhukatais. 
  5. Steam them for 5-7 mts. When done they appear transparent (you can just touch water and touch the kozhukatais by the fingers. If its not sticky its done)
  6. Serve them hot
We get those kozhukatai makers (shown below) which will ease your job. Just ensure you apply oil before placing the dough inside it.

Enjoy delicious & healthy kozhukatais! These make for a good evening snack as well. These are 2 basic varieties. Soon planning to try on some more & will share. Till then, eat healthy & enjoy life!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pav Bhaji : A popular street food

Pav Bhaji is one of the most famous and commonly available street food in India, especially in aamchi Mumbai. It is known for its aromatic, chat-pati (fine blend of spices) taste, and is also an easy to make dish. Definitely a winner across ages right from kids to elderly, and a food at easy reach for a common man.

Its a simple bun had with a tasty vegetable preparation along with onions, lemon, and if you like it a green chillie along with hot tea! Dish can be cooked in 15-20 mts.

Pav Bhaji can easily figure in your choice for breakfast, evening snacks, for a get together, or at times for dinner as well. (For most this is a staple food through the day)

Pav Bhaji Masala: This can be powdered and stored in air-tight container like any other masala powders.

  1. Red Chillies             - 7-8 (as spicy as you need the vegetable preparation)
  2. Coriander Seeds      - 4 tspn
  3. Cumin Seeds            - 2 tspn
  4. Black Pepper           - 1/4 tspn
  5. Cinnamon                 - a small piece
  6. Clove                       - 2-3
  7. Cardamom               - 2 
  8. Fennel Seeds            - 1 tspn
  9. Turmeric Powder     - a pinch
  10. Dry Mango Powder - 1 tspn
Method: Dry roast all ingredients & powder it. 

Bhaji: The vegetable mash that goes along with the Pav.


  1. Potatoes - 4 - Boiled
  2. Beans / Carrot / Cauliflower / Green Capsicum / Green Peas - any other vegetable of your choice that will go well with these - Boiled (Quantity of vegies you take will define the quantity of the bhaji. A handful of beans, 1 carrot, a cup of flower, 1 capsicum, and handful of peas would serve 4)
  3. Onions - 2 - Nicely chopped
  4. Tomatoes - 4 - Nicely chopped
  5. Ginger - 1-2 inch piece
  6. Garlic - 3-4 pods (or you can use the ginger/garlic paste available readily)
  7. Green chillies - 3-4
  8. Coriander - to garnish
  9. Pav Bhaji Masala - 1-1.5 tspn (the one you prepared)
  10. Oil - to cook
  1. Boil all vegetables together with a pinch of salt (including potatoes)
  2. Make ginger garlic paste (to have a fresh flavor) or you can use the readily available one
  3. In a pan, add oil and 3/4 of the diced onions
  4. Fry till they become light brown (to quicken, you can add a pinch of salt)
  5. To this, add the ginger garlic paste & green chillies. Fry them for a few seconds
  6. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 mts till the oil separates
  7. Add other boiled vegetables and stir them by continuously mashing them (this dish is known for its fine mash finish)
  8. When the vegetables are well mashed and cooked, add the pav bhaji masala 
  9. Add salt to taste
  10. Cook on medium heat (if rqd add some water) till the dish is fully done & gets the semi-gravy consistence.
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves
  12. Serve it hot with the toasted pav

Pav: These are readily available in any bakery as a pack of 4 or 6. Just before you eat, start preparing this because its best served hot / warm.

  1. Pav - 8 (to serve 4 ppl)
  2. Butter - 2 tbspn (to fry the pav)
  3. Lemon - 1 
  1. Apply butter to the pav & toast them on a tava till they become crispy and browny. If done in large quantities, you can apply butter on the tava and add as many pavs & continue to toss them till all sides are done
  2. If the pav are smaller in size you can toast them as is, else preferably we cut the pavs into two & toast them.
  3. To serve, on a plate, place the toasted pavs, the bhaji, some onion, lemon slices, and green chillies (if you like it)
  4. Best eaten when hot

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jamming with mango

After relishing and taxing your tummy with mangoes through the season, most definitely you would want to try out other dishes using mangoes. Lovely it will be if we can make some mango-based dishes that can be preserved for at least some time. Among the many types of tasty mango dishes, one easy to do & preserve dish is mango jam. 

  • 1-2 ripe mangoes (you can pick any variety but ensure they are not very tangy)
  • 1-2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  1. Boil the mangoes until they become real soft (can boil the whole mango or the pieces)
  2. Cool and peel the skin. Strain any excess water
  3. Mash the pulp and keep it aside
  4. In a pan, add the water and the sugar. Over a low flame, allow the sugar to dissolve by constant stirring. Then bring it to boil over medium flame until the sugar syrup gets formed as thin threads. 
  5. When this consistency is reached, add the mashed mango pulp and boil it till it thcikens into a semi-solid state
  6. Allow it to cool and store it in an air tight container. Preferably refrigerate it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pan Pizzzzzaaa @ Home

Pizza, though not my most-desired food, I don't mind it once a while; especially with my all-time-favorite Jalapeno topping. But I've my close ones who love to have pizza any time and this has been a long-pending request from my little princess Aman:) So, having decided to make some pizza at home, I wanted to make it from the scratch instead of using the readily available pizza bases. While browsing, I accidentally got the recipe to make pizza using a non-stick tava instead of an OTG / Microwave.

Thanks to the lady who shared this recipe, it surely worked out to be an easy-to-make method and with very minimal and easily available ingredients. Along with one of my partners in crime, @ Sangeeta, ventured into making these yummy pizzas and have succeeded twice so far...It's been  vanishing into people's tummy :)


All purpose flour (maida): 2 medium-sized serving spoons 
Yeast (dry / instant): 1-1.5 tspn [Note: If its dry yeast, soak it in warm water with sugar; allow it for 5 mts & then use it]
Salt : as per taste

Oil : 2-3 tspn (we used refined oil but recommended by many is olive)

Topping: (that we used)

Capsicum - 1 medium sized : Green
Baby corn - 1 small
Mozirela cheese - Grated
Amul cheese - Grated or sliced
Mixed herbs - for flavor
Olive - as many numbers as you like
Onion - 1 small sized
Tomato - 1 small sized
Panneer (Cottage cheese) - grated

Onion : 1 big or 2 medium sized; cut into small pieces (would suffice for 2 small pizzas)
Tomato: 2-4 medium sized; 2 cut into pieces & 2 ground as tomato pure
Garlic  : 2-4 pods; cut into small pieces
Salt: to taste
Sugar: 1/2 tspn (depending on the sweetness of the tomato)

Steps to prepare the base:
  1. Mix the flour with yeast, salt, sugar, oil and make a dough. Use warm water to make the dough as smooth as for rotis
  2. Apply a bit oil on the dough and cover it with a cloth
  3. Allow it to soak for 1 hour
Steps to prepare the sauce:
  1. Cut onion, tomatoes (half the number), and garlic into tiny pieces
  2. Pure the remaining tomatoes
  3. In a pan, add a spoon of oil (refined), followed by garlic, onion, salt and saute it till they become golden brown
  4. To this mix, add the sliced tomatoes and saute it for a minute. Then add the pure, followed by sugar
  5. Stir till the water is absorbed and the sauce consistency is obtained
  6. Remove from fire & allow it to cool
 Steps to prepare the topping:
  1. Cut the capsicum, baby corn, onion, tomato into small pieces
  2. Saute capsicum, baby corn, and onion separately for a minute or two (to ensure they are slightly cooked before adding to the pizza; don't add any salt to this)
  Steps to prepare the pizzas:
  1. Keep a non-stick pan, close it with a lid and heat it up for a minute or two. It's similar to pre-heating the OTG or microwave but should be medium hot. 
  2. Meanwhile, portion the dough into sizes that you would like for making a small or medium pizza
  3. Spread it and make a base similar to rotis but should be a little thicker
  4. Place this in the pre-heated pan, close it and allow one side to cook till its golden brown
  5. Reverse the pizza and slow the fire
  6. Now, on the top of the cooked side, first apply the sauce evenly. On top of it, you can do the dressing in the desired manner - we applied cheese, then each vegetable, cottage cheese, then topped it with more amul cheese.
  7. Close the pan and allow the cheese to melt. 
  8. After a minute, when the bottom-side of the pizza is brownish, and the cheese has begun to melt, you can remove it from fire
  9. Allow it to cool and then slice it
  10. Spray some oregano, mixed herbs, and chillie flakes
Yummy home-made pizzas are now ready for your tummy! Can be relished without / with any sauces / chutneys that you prefer.

1 hour of soaking time for the base flour is the maximum time. In the next 10-15 mts, you can start having your hot-pan-pizzas. Try it out!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chivda : A quick evening snack

At the onset of kids' vacations or even during daily tea time, we feel the need for some interesting snacks. While the market these days are flooded with varieties of snacks, at times you might feel the need or like to have something home-made. Ofcourse, none so complex to prepare but something that you can put together in a few minutes.

One such irresistible snack is the famous 'Chivda'. It has variations to it and can be made based on your creativity. This is a healthy and interesting snack which might attract the kids as well.

Here am sharing a very simple 'chivda' made out of puffed rice and flattened rice (poha).

1. Flattened Rice (white / red) : 2 cups
2. Puffed Rice (pori) : 2 cups
3. Peanuts / Ground nuts(raw or fried) : 1/4 - 1/2 cup (remove the skin)
4. Roasted Gram Dhal : 1/4 cup (or lesser as preferred)
5. Green Chillies : 2-4 slit vertically (as per your spice preference)
6. Curry leaves : 6-10 (as per your taste)
7. Dry Fruits: Add desired dry fruits in balance quantity
8. Turmeric powder : 2 pinch
9. Salt : Per Taste
10. Mustard seeds: Optional (just a tspn)
11. Oil : 2 tbspn (doesn't require much oil as per the quantity you are making)
12. Asafoetida: a pinch
13. Dried coconut : Thin slices - 5-10 numbers


Chivda is just a mix of all the above ingredients fried till crunchy/crispy and mixed together with salt.
  1. In a kadai (cooking vessel), add oil. When the oil is little warm, add mustard seeds. 
  2. As they crackle, add curry leaves, chillies, turmeric powder. Fry them till they become crispy. 
  3. Add the roasted gram dhal and saute it for a few minutes
  4. Add the flattened rice and fry them till they become crispy. 
  5. Add the puffed rice and saute for a minute
  6. Finally, add the fried ground nuts [If raw ground nuts, then fry them first with some salt. If you are using the readily fried/salted peanuts then you can use them as is (ensure they are crunchy). Remove the skin once cooled. Then, add it to the other fried ingredients in the kadai]
  7. Fry the coconut pieces and add them to the kadai
  8. Add the dry fruits you like (I added only dried grapes)
  9. Remove from fire and sprinkle salt. Mix well
  10. Remove it to a broader plate or bowl and allow it to cool for sometime
  11. Place it in a air-tight container
  1. You can make chivda out of Oats / Sabudhana
  2. Use Red Chillies as an alternative for Green chillies
  3. Next time, I plan to sprinkle some Chaat masala as well :)
  4. Ensure its cooled completely before you store else it might become soggy
Yummy and crunchy tea-time snack is now ready. Try & share your feedback and more suggestions. Happy snacking :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Anaheim Pepper / Italian Pepper Pickle

Anaheim / Italian pepper, is popularly known as "Bajji milagai" down south. As the name indicates, this is most used to make stuffed green chilli bajji. For want of variety, I attempted at making a pickle of these amazing looking chillis. Wow, my experiment clicked. So, here it is, my recipe for chilli pickle.

  • Italian Pepper / bajji milagai   : 250 gms / ~ 25 numbers
  • Tamarind   / Imli / Puli           : Small Lemon size soaked in water
  • Coriander / Dhaniya powder    : 1 tspn
  • Turmeric Powder                    : 1/2 tspn
  • Red Chillie powder                  : 2 tspn
  • Jaggery / Gud / Vellam           : 1 tspn
  • Salt                                       : Per taste
  • Mustard / Rai / Kadugu          : 1 tspn powdered (Dry fry it and powder)
  • Feenugreek / Methi /Vendhayam: 1.5 tspn powdered (Dry fry it and powder)
  • Gingely Oil / Nallenai / til oil  : 2-4 serving spoon (small sized) 
  1. Wash, dry and slit the chillis, remove the seeds and cut into small pieces 
  2. In a kadai (pan), add enough oil. As soon as it warms, add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, and chilli powder 
  3. Immediately, add the diced chilli. Just fry it for a few seconds. Keep checking if the oil level is enough to cook the pickle. The chillis will start shrinking as they get cooked
  4. At this point, add the tamarind juice (just enough to add a tangy taste and balance the chilli's spice)
  5. To this mix, add salt
  6. Keep stirring from time to time. Cook it till the chilli shrinks and starts leaving out oil
  7. Before removing from fire, add the jaggery powder and stir it a few seconds 
  8. Remove from fire, and add the Mustard and Feenugreek powder
  9. Cool it and store it 
  10. Server it with rice, idli, dosas, or any other snacks / breakfast menus including Upmas / Pohas etc
  • The powders will lose its raw smell easily if added to the warm oil; also, the chilli powder in the warm oil will give a good red color.
  • Adding jaggery powder will balance the tangy and spicy tastes in the pickle.
  • Use of oil is your choice. If limited oil is used, then its best to refrigerate it. 
  • If refrigerated and used with proper care (away from water etc), this can be stored for weeks

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cabbage and Potato Gravy

Years ago, at NIIT, one of my students had invited me for lunch. She was treating me to some north-indian style dishes. Of those, the taste and preparation of this dish is still afresh in my mind and taste budz...

This can be prepared either as a dry sabji or curry depending on your needs and taste.



Cabbage (Patha ghobi / Mutakose) : 1 cup - chopped into thin slices
Potato :  2-4 medium sized, peeled, and cut into cubes
Onion:    2 medium sized, cut into thin slices
Tomato:  2 medium sized, cut into thin slices
Garlic:     5-6 pods (per your taste)
Ginger:    A piece finely chopped
Green Chille: 3-4 slit at the center
Curry Leaves : 3-4
Coriander Leaves: Chopped for garnishing

Spices and others:
Jeera: 2 tspn
Refined Oil  : 3-4 tbspn (as per your usage)
Turmeric Powder: 1 tspn
Dhaniya Powder (Coriander): 3-4 tspn (2 tbspn)
Red Chillie Powder : 2-2.5 tspn (1-1.5 tbspn - as per the spice levels; balance it with the green chilies used)
Mango Powder (Aamchur): 1 tspn
Salt : to taste
Asafoetida - a pinch

  1. In a pan (kadai), add oil and as it becomes warm, add jeera.
  2. Allow the jeera to splutter, and add chillies, ginger, and garlic
  3. Fry them till the garlic turns golden brown
  4. Then add onion and fry till it turns golden brown (Tip: You can add a pinch of salt to quicken the process)
  5. To this mix, add tomatoes and cook them for a mt or two
  6. Now add the spices in the order of : turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chillie powder, and mango powder
  7. Mix them well and leave for 1 mt (if rqd, you can add a few drops of oil when adding chillie powder)
  8. To this mix, add hing and salt
  9. At this point, add the curry leaves, chopped cabbage (I added a few pieces of chopped capsicum) and allow it to cook for 2 mts by sprinkling some water
  10. Allow it for 2 mts, and then add the fried and sauteed potatoes (Refer to 'Preparation of potato' section below).
  11. Add enough water to create the gravy consistency (or you can make it as a dry sabji by just sprinkling water to cook)
  12. Add the coriander leaves before removing from fire.

      Preparation of potato
  1. In parallel to Steps 3 to 6, in another tava, add oil to fry the diced potatoes
  2. When the oil turns a bit warm, add the diced potatoes and fry them till golden brown
  3. Saute them with a bit of salt and pepper or alternatively chaat masala
  4. Keep them ready to add to the gravy

You can serve this as a side dish for Rotis, Paranthas, Dosas, Aapam, or even bread. When made as a curry, you can also have it with rice. 

1) Instead of frying the potatoes, you can also boil, peel and cut them into dices
2) You can make similar preparations with Brinjal and Potatoes