Thursday, 30 October 2008

Tomato chutney

Generally for parathas, thalipeth or when tomatoes are extra I make this chutney. This chutney is a bit oily and the original recipe used ginger but since my people like garlic I have substituted. The amount of garlic can be adjusted as you need. You can also use onions chopped fine, however fry it till it becomes translucent before adding tomatoes. Use it also as a quick base for any vegetable. It can be stored in the fridge for one week.
4-5 red tomatoes chopped fine
1 tsp garlic
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp haldi
1 tsp chilli powder
Curry leaves
2-3 pieces of red chilli
1 tblspn oil
Make a fodni of oil mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
Add broken bits of red chilli, curry leaves.
Add the tomato and garlic mix well.
Cover and cook till pulpy.
Add haldi, chilli powder, salt and sugar.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Paneer Bhurji

My friend, Sunita once brought a vegetable which she shared with me, it was finger licking delicious. All my queries as to what it was made off met with an enigmatic smile and reply, “Finish all this then I will tell you.” Afterwards she told me it was paneer bhurji, she had made out of the little milk that had curdled. Till then it had never occurred to me that a paneer bhurji is a nice way to get rid of the last one cup milk that has curdled. I make it quite often, since the last little milk and I cannot bear one another.

For paneer bhurji you will need to strain the curdled milk through a muslin cloth (traditionally) but I cant stand that piece of cloth ever again so I stain it through a maida sieve or a big strainer with fine holes. Discard the liquid what you have in the sieve or strainer is paneer

1 cup paneer
1 onion chopped fine
2 tomatoes chopped fine
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
A little kasuri methi
Salt to taste

Heat the oil, add mustard when they splutter add onion. When the onions become translucent add garlic. Fry till light brown in colour. Add the tomatoes and fry till they become pulpy. Mash all the tomatoes with a ladle, add the dry powders. Fry for a couple of minutes then add the kasuri methi and paneer mix well. Add salt garnish with coriander.

Raw Tomato Kosambri

My grandmother had made this salad I faintly remember it when I see raw tomatoes in the market, today I decided to make it. Ajji made it quite pungent but since no one can eat pungent stuff at home I made a milder version. Hats off to my memory it was the same stuff, milder, but same.

This is what I used

2 raw tomatoes
2 green chillies
2 tblspn puthana/futane
½ tblspn oil
½ Mustard seeds
½ tsp hing
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnishing

1. Cut the tomatoes in to fine pieces.
2. Add salt.
3. Grind green chillies, futana coarsely in the chutney pot. Add to tomatoes.
4. Heat oil, add mustard when it splutters add hing.
5. Mix with the tomatoes.
6. Garnish and serve.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Sambar Masala

This is my mother’s sambhar masala. I try out new masalas that I get from my friends but I seem to always come back to this one. Please note that the dagadphool is not star aniseed which has a pungent aroma, this is more like black and white stands, smells mild.


1/4 cup dhania(coriander seeds)

1 1/2 tbsps chanadal

1 1/2 tsps urid dal

1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)

1 1/2 tsps jeera

8 seeds methi(fenugreek)

1/4 cup dry grated coconut

8 byadgi red chillies (you can use any kind but then adjust the number for pungent you need)

3 sticks of dalchini (cinnamon) 1 inch each

dagadfool 1 tbsp (optional)


1) Roast grated coconut

2) Roast dhania and red chillies with a liitle oil

3) Roast rest of the ingredients individually with a liitle oil

4) Cool and dry grind

PS Roast on low flame till you get a fragrance.

Gobi Fry

My better half like cauliflower a lot, so we buy it religiously every week. When all avenues of cauliflower vegetables are over I make this one. The reason is its very oily. I tried shallow frying the cauliflower but the end result was not as nice. The only concession it allows is parboiling it like I have mentioned below. Addition of Kasuri methi and coriander also gives the vegetable nice flavours add with the dry masalas say, ½ tsp each.

So indulge once in a while.


1 medium cauliflower (300-350 grms)

Oil for frying +2 tblspns.

1 medium onion grated

3 cloves garlic, crushed.

½ inch ginger, crushed

1 large tomato, pureed

½ tsp turmeric,

½ tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp coriander powder

¼ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp dry mango powder

½ tsp garam masala

Salt to taste

Sugar as per taste


  1. Cut cauliflower into medium sized florets in a utensil, add about ½ cup water cover and boil till you can smell the cauliflower. Strain and plunge in cold water. Dry on a clean napkin. (This is an optional step).
  2. Deep fry till golden and tender over medium heat.
  3. Drain and keep aside.
  4. Heat 2 tblspn oil and put in the onion. Fry till oil separates.
  5. Add garlic, ginger. Fry lightly.
  6. Add tomato puree and the dry masala powders, salt and sugar. Fry till you get a nice fragrance.
  7. Add cauliflower. Mix well.

Dark Chocolate Cake

This is a cake I had tried from the magazine Woman’s Era and it is superb. We just cannot have enough of it. Here the recipe was with plain flour i.e. Maida. However, since now I don’t have the time to bake as often, I have started using self-raising flour. Save the bother of keeping a track of the freshness of the baking powder.

The ingredients are:
1 ¾ cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 tblspn cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tblspn + ¼ cup ghee
¼ cup butter
¼ cup hot water
4 eggs separated
½ cup milk
1 ½ cup castor sugar
  1. Grease and flour 10” square pan or two 8” round pans.
  2. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, salt.
  4. Mix together cocoa powder, 2 tblspn ghee, hot water. Keep aside.
  5. Cream till light and fluffy ghee, butter and sugar.
  6. separate egg yolks in the mix
  7. Mix in coco paste and vanilla essence.
  8. Mix a little milk, blend, and add some flour blend, repeat till flour is over. End with flour.
  9. In this sticky dough fold gently stiffly beaten egg whites.
  10. Spoon the batter gently.
  11. Bake till done.


This recipe is something that my SIL, tried out long before her marriage. It can be made with milkmaid also, but, I like to use this recipe, as I don’t always have milkmaid at home.


1½ cups milk

¾ cups cocoa or 100 grms cooking choclate

4 cups sugar

½tea spoon salt

¼ butter or ghee

2 tea spoon vanilla essence



1.In a heavy pan mix cocoa & milk, stir till it dissolves over gentle flame.

2.Mix sugar & salt, cook over low flame till sugar dissolves. Raise heat & cook till it reaches soft ball stage( a drop put in cold water should form a soft ball)

3.Remove from heat & cool slightly till pan is cool enough to handle.

4.Add butter, nuts & essence. Beat well now spread on a greased tray & smoothen top cut when firm.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Sabudana Khichidi

Today is “sankashti” so it is sabudana khichidi day. My kids love this so, it is also a 'no complaints day.'
Please note that I have said that groundnuts and potatoes have to be peeled, in reality I don’t do it. I soak the potatoes in water; scrub them with a sock I have kept specifically for this purpose. The reason is generally under the peels the maximum nutrients are stored so if I peel them I am loosing them.
I grind the groundnuts with the chilli, lemon and sugar.
Also soak the sabudana, drain the water then add 1 tblspn of curd mix it( this tastes better), soak overnight or minimum of 8 hours.
Today since I was running behind schedule I have grated the potatoes.
In place of potatoes if use sweet potato, grate it in water after you wash them clean and use one more green chilli.

2-3 potatoes peeled and cut into fine bits.
3 cups sabudana/sago, wash & soak overnight.
¼ cup groundnuts roasted, peeled &coarsely ground.
1 green chilli, slit.
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp Sugar
2 tblspn coconut
Salt as per taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tblspn ghee
3-4 tblspn milk

In the sabudana add groundnut powder, lemon, sugar, 1 ½ tblspn coconut and salt mix well.
Heat the ghee and add cumin seeds till they change colour.
Add the green chilli sauté.
Add potatoes a little salt, mix, cover and cook till cooked.
Now add the sabudana mixture and stir till well mixed.
Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the flame add milk cover and keep aside till serving time.
Garnish with coconut and coriander.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Spicy Garlic Chilli Potatoes

8-10 med potatoes
2 tsp cooking oil
½ tsp mustard oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
Wash peel and cut potatoes like french fries.
Fry mustard, cumin and garlic till brown.
Remove from fire.
Add turmeric and chilli powder.
Potatoes salt.
Cook till done.

Sunday, 12 October 2008


With my kids Frankies are hot favourite. I hit on them in one of my inspirational moments (which these days are very few and far). You see I was left with one katori of cauliflower vegetable, one of cabbage, some old carrots, peas that had sprouted. So I hit on this idea of blending all the stuff so that it cannot be identified. You could also make them with fresh vegetables.


For the cutlets:

3 cup left over vegetables, like cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, spinach, peas.
3 medium sized potatoes (boiled),
5-6 slices of bread
Idli rava for coating
Oil for frying

For the wraps:
Cheese spread
Tomato sauce
Some onions chopped lengthwise (optional)
Tomatoes cut lengthwise (optional)
Coriander chopped fine


Boil the vegetables with a little salt, say ½ cup water, till tender and mash.
Grate the boiled potatoes and mash.
Soak the bread slices in water and squeeze them out. (You can use the water left over after boiling the vegetables).
Mix all the three in a bowl like soft dough.
Make small longish rolls as thick as two fingers and about as long.
Dip in the idli rava and shallow fry in oil till well done.

To put together

1. Spread cheese spread on the chapatti, some tomato sauce, and sprinkle coriander leaves.
2. Place the cutlet on the chapatti such that it is about an inch out of the chapatti.
3. Put a few of the onion slices, tomato slices.
4. Wrap the chapatti pin it with a toothpick and serve.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Mysore Pak

With the festive season fast approaching my thoughts move on to Mysore pak. I had watched my mum make this sweet once, but, since my interest in cooking was so- so I did not much bother to follow it. Once, after marriage, my friend’s mother demonstrated this tricky piece of sweet, and my interest was kindled.

I must really thank my Mother-in-law for supporting my efforts in making this sweet, for the first time my friends comment was that my barfi has become very nice, soft(in marathi it is khush khushit) I was disappointed. But Kaku, my MIL, made sure I made it again and applauded my efforts. This time it was a real Mysore pak.

What you need for this is as below:

1 cup besan
1 ½ sugar
1 cup water
3 cups oil
A little ghee say 1-2 tblspn.


Fry besan in a little ghee till it gives a fragrance on low flame.
Put the oil to heat on low flame.
Mix sugar and water and boil till you get one string consistency, one string consistency is when you hold a drop of the syrup between your thumb and index finger and pull them apart you should get a string of sugar.
Add the fried besan into the sugar syrup and now, very gently add the hot oil with a ladle stirring the syrup.
On adding the hot oil your besan and syrup froths, don’t worry that’s normal
Add a ladle of hot oil, stir continue till all the oil is used up.
Keep stirring the besan and syrup mixture and all the ghee will start seeping out.
Pour in a metal sieve and all your oil will drain out.
Cool a little and cut out the pieces.
The oil collected down can be used to soak Shankar paali atta.

Bhendi Bhaji

We have bhendi almost every week as my kids love it. But we all got bored of the same bhendi fry so I tried this recipe which my neighbor Navelkar Ajji suggested. It was really good.
¼ kg.Bhendi
1 tblsp urid daal
½ tblsp methi seeds
½ coconut
½ tsp red chillies (as per taste)
3 pepper corns (as per taste)
A lemon sized ball of tamarind
2-3 tblsp jaggery
½ tsp asafoetida
½ tsp haldi
Ajji’s recipe said:
1. Fry the urid daal and methi individually
2. Add bhendi cut lengthwise and add salt. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
3. Grind coconut, pepper, haldi, red chilli powder jaggery and tamarind.
4. The bhendi went into ½ tsp oil stir fried for about a minute. Add the ground mixture
5. Cook on low flame till the bhendi is done.
6. Tastes best with rice.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


There are times when I want something hot, but nothing heavy, no tea thank you, I turn to lime tea. It’s simple, fast and easily adaptable. I use

1 cup water
5-6 springs of mint/pudina
Sugar as per taste
1/8 inch Ginger (optional)

4-5 grains of tea
1 lemon

Boil water with the sugar, ginger and tea.
Add the mint leaves and leave covered for 10 minutes.
Squeeze the lime.
Strain in your glass.

You could chill it also, I have tried making ice cubes out of this tea it is very messy. Maybe you should have an ice tray for tea cubes only. If you have the patience try making thin slices of the lime and freezing in the cube.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Neer Phanas Kapa

After marriage, my husband & I started this practice of shopping for vegetables, together. One day a shopkeeper told my hubby dear to take “neer phanas” or bread fruit, his exact words were,” kappa karu laya patrao’ sarkhe viswan lagtale”, translated from Konkani it is “get kappa made they will taste like kingfish”. I was skeptical, but they really taste like kingfish/viswan/surmai.

So this is your “neer phanas” or bread fruit.

Apply a little oil to your hands and cut “neer phanas” or bread fruit in four pieces lengthwise. Remove the skin and the central core, now make 3-4 pieces again lengthwise, the pieces should be about ½ inch thick.

(You can store this cut “neer phanas” or bread fruit in a container for 3-4 days.)

Now, sprinkle the “neer phanas” or bread fruit with salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and toss the “neer phanas” or bread fruit. Let it rest for about an hour or so.

Now take some idli rava and roll your pieces of “neer phanas” or bread fruit in the rava till they are well coated. Arrange on a nonstick frying pan. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of oil cover and cook over low flame till they are golden. Turn them over and fry again. If the kappas are too dry sprinkle some water and cover immediately and cook. This is your end product. Enjoy!!

P.S. In place or idli rava you can use ordinary Bombay rava, rice flour or bread crumbs.
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