Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fruit n' Cream

This is the American Desi version of the good old Fruit Salad. It is quite simple to make and gets ready in no time.

Fruit n' Cream
1 pack vanilla ice-cream
1 tub coolwhip

1 apple, diced
1 pear, diced
10 grapes, halved
1 orange, segments removed
1 banana, peeled & chopped
1 tbsp chopped almonds, unsalted
1 tbsp chopped walnuts/cashews, unsalted
1 tbsp chopped pistachios, unsalted

2 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp doodh masala

1. Thaw vanilla icecream. Using hand mixer or fork, churn the icecream and koolwhip together.
2. Fold in all the chopped fruits.
3. Mix well. Add the garnish.
4. Cover with the foil and freeze till set.
5. Keep in the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving.

Note -
1. You can add or vary the fruits of your choice. Keep it colorful.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kesar Pista Ice-cream

After making saffron kulfi, I decided to make kesar-pista icecream using ricotta cheese.

Here's what I did -

Kesar Pista Ice-cream
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp saffron + 1 tbsp warm milk
1 tbsp pistachio slivers

1. Mix evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk and bring to boil.

2. Add ricotta cheese and churn nicely so it is nicely incorporated. Simmer for 30 minutes on a low flame. Keep stirring to make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan.

3. Add saffron to a steel spoon and hold over a flame for a few seconds. Add to the warm milk and rub to get a bright yellow color. Add the saffron mixture, doodh masala and pistachios to the milk mixture and give a stir. Switch off the gas.

4. Let it cool down completely.

5. Pour in a freezer safe tray. Cover and freeze for 6 hours or till set.

6. While serving, thaw for 15 minutes in fridge and cut into squares.

Note -
1. I tried the above recipe with skim milk but it makes it too icy. If you want to use skim milk, you may need to add some cornflour in the mixture for thickening and after freezing, churn it with hand mixer to break ice-particles and freeze again. You may need to try this for 2-3 times.

2. If you want creamier texture, add heavy cream instead of milk.

This post is my entry to EC's WYF: Juices & Ice-Creams.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Vayanganna Talasani(1)

The first harvest of Eggplant was rather modest. I just got one round eggplant. I first thought of making sambar with all the garden vegetables, but then I decided against it and thought, let me celebrate each and every vegetable. I had to buy 2 small eggplants from theIndian stores to make this Talasani.

Vayanganna Talasani(1)
Baby Eggplants Stir Fry
3 medium eggplants, sliced
1 medium potato, peeled, sliced
6-7 drumsticks pieces
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green lima beans

2 tsp oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed or slivered
2 byadgi chilies, halved
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp fresh coconut

1. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute till garlic becomes reddish but not burnt.
2. Add all the vegetables & beans.
3. Saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add spoonful of water. Cover with a lid and keep some water on the lid.
5. Cook for 10-12 minutes or till vegetables are cooked.
6. Add salt to taste.
7. Garnish with coconut.

Note -
1. Traditionally, coconut oil is used for cooking.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bhinda ni Kadhi

Bhinda Ni Kadhi
Okra Buttermilk Soup
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
2 tbsp besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
sugar to taste
7 - 9 fresh okra/bhindi/bhendi/bhinda/bhenda/Lady's fingers, cut into two pieces, slit
2 fresh, green chilies, slit

1 tsp oil
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1" cinnamon
3-4 cloves
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1" ginger, grated

0. Churn yogurt, water and besan to make the buttermilk without any lumps.
1. Heat oil & ghee in a saucepan.
2. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. As the cumin seeds start spluttering, add slit green chilies and okra.
4. Saute on a low flame till okras are cooked and are brownish in color.
5. Add yogurt mixture, salt, sugar.
6. Keep stirring on a low flame till mixture comes to a rolling boil.
7. Switch off the gas.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tamarind Leaves Daal

Recipe Source - Cooking at Home with Pedatha by Jigyasa Giri & Pratibha Jain

More Information -

Check out my Tamarind plant from my own kitchen garden.

Ullel - Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Ullel
Cucumber Raita - South Canara way
3 small or 1 big cucumber, peeled & diced
1 green chili, chopped
1" ginger, peeled & minced
salt to taste

Grind to a coarse paste
1/4 cup fresh coconut
2 byadgi chilies, roasted quickly in 1/2 tsp oil
1 tsp tamarind pulp
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1. Mix cucumber, salt, green chilies & ginger. Keep aside.
2. Grind the masala to a coarse paste, without adding any water.
3. Stir in the ground masala in the cucumber mixture.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
5. Add sizzling oil in the raita and stir. Cover.

Note -
1. Do not make this raita too much in advance. As time goes by, there will be a lot of moisture due to cucumber.

2. For the traditional flavor, use coconut oil.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thali Peethzza

What do you do when you want to sneak in those grains and legumes and beans in your little one's tummy, but all she wants is the Italian food all the time? You take your desi recipes and give them an Italian makeover!!;-) You rename it as "Italian Thali Peethzza" served with Marinara sauce. Your little one enjoys this version and name!!;-)

Thali Peethzza
1 1/2 cups Thalipeeth Bhajni
1 tbsp flax seeds powder
1 small onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled & grated
1/4 cup cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup spinach, shredded
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning

1 tbsp part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
Oil for shallow frying

Marinara Sauce (Warm)

1. Mix all the ingredients till Italian seasoning.

2. Add water and knead to a dough.

3. Make 8 or so equal sized balls.

4. Heat a griddle or frying pan.

5. Pat the ball directly on the griddle or place within folded plastic sheets and pat to a disc & then put on the pan.

6. With the help of the back of the spoon, make a 5 holes on the pancake.

7. Add a drop of oil in each of those five holes.

8. Place a spoonful of cheese on the pancake. Cover and let it cook on a low flame.

9. Flip and cook on the other side.

10. Serve hot with warm marinara sauce.

Notes -

1. Sometimes I also add chopped garlic and basil in the dough.

2. Poking holes on the pancake is the traditional method used in making Maharashtrian Thalipeeth. This method saves oil but still gives necessary oil for the pancake to cook evenly.

Per Mansi's rules, I need to state why I think this entry is healthy -

1. Thalipeeth Bhajni is a multi-grain, multi-legume flour that provides a generous serving of fiber, complex carbohydrates and proteins.

2. I add flax seeds in most of my cooking to get the Omega-3 benefits. I find flax seeds very neutral in taste. So they do not interfere with the taste of the dish that I am making.

3. This dish also includes some benefits from spinach, carrots, cabbage etc. It's very important to eat your veggies.

4. Part-skim cheese gives some protein and taste as well.

5. As mentioned above, poking those holes to add few drops of oil, limits the oil for making this pancake but still cooks it evenly.

This Thalipeethzza ( or my Italian makeover of humble Thalipeeth!) is my entry to Mansi Desai's Healthy Cooking Event.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Amma used to make this sannpollo whenever there was dudhi (bottlegourd) or padwalachi bhaji.(snakegourd). Both my grandmothers firmly believed in using all the edible parts of the vegetables. Sannapollo is one such "Trash to Treasure" recipe.


Spicy pancakes using seeds


1/2 cup dudhi seeds, roughly chopped

1/2 cup wheat flour

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp asafoetida

salt to taste


1. Combine all the ingredients except oil.

2. Knead them together using the moisture from the dudhi seeds. Add some water to make a dough.

3. Pat on a hot griddle/pan. Poke bout 5 holes. Add few drops in those holes. Cover and let it cook on a low flame.

4. Flip and cook till brown spots appear on both the sides.

5. Serve hot with DaliTauy & rice.

Note -

1. Padwal seeds can also be used.

2. Though it's a pancake, it is not served for breakfast or as snacks. It is served as an accompaniment with the daily meal of dalitauy & rice.

3. This pancake is supposed to be very spicy.

4. Instead of wheat flour, 1/4 cup wheat flour + 1/4 cup rice flour can be used.

Pumpkin buds fritters

Bhoplaychya Kaliche Kaap
Pumpkin Buds Fritters
2 Pumpkin or squash buds (or more!)
1 tsp rice flour
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste
oil for shallow or deep frying.

1. Rinse the buds gently with cold water.
2. Mix rice flour, chili powder, salt, turmeric powder & asafoetida
3. Coat wet buds with the above mixture.
4. Shallow (or deep) fry till they are crunchy.

Note -
1. Give a very small cut on the bud where the stem starts to make sure there are no worms!

JFI Flower Power - Bhoplyachya Foolanchi Bhaji

I had completely forgotten about this bhaaji. Mom used to make it whenever Vasaiwala used to bring "pumpkin flowers". Vasai is located on the outskirts of Mumbai and vegetable vendor from Vasai is called Vasaiwala. He used to carry two baskets balanced on a wooden bar over his shoulders. He used to bring some organic, delicacies like pumpkin flowers, fresh rajma, fresh double beans, fresh chickpeas, drumstick leaves, turmeric leaves etc. His vegetables used to be fresh and were not available in our local vegetable market which boasted broccoli, celery and lettuce but unfortunately not the fresh Indian vegetables from the countryside.

The pumpkin flowers are considered a delicacy in Malvani cuisine. If it's bud, fritters are made and if it's a flower, stir fry is made.

This year, I planted some squashes. When the plant bloomed, I remembered mom's recipe. I called her and was surprised to know how simple this recipe was. So I gave it a try. Here it is.

Bhoplyachya Foolanchi Bhaji
Pumpkin Flowers Stir Fry
Few bunches of pumpkin or squash flowers, washed & chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp tamarind

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 small onion, chopped

2 tbsp fresh coconut

0. Soak the flowers in cold water for few minutes to get rid of any soil. Do not soak for a long time as it may wilt the flowers.

1. Heat oil. Add turmeric powder and onion. Saute till onion is soft but not burnt or brown.
2. Now add chopped flowers and saute quickly.
3. It will be cooked in less than 5 minutes.
4. Add salt, chili powder, tamarind.
5. Garnish with coconut
Note -
1. Even if you have a big bunch of flowers, generally the yield is very small after cooking. So, add salt, tamarind and chili powder after the bhaji is cooked to get the right proportion.

This post is my contribution to Jihva: Flower Power at Rachna's Soul Food.
Jihva event is started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dudhi-Muth nu shaak

I made it finally. I was not sure if I could meet Pooja's deadline, but I did it. :-)

This simple shaak is from South Gujarat. I like it for its simplicity.

Dudhi-Moth nu shaak
Bottlegourd-moth beans Stir Fry
1 fresh bottlegourd/dudhi/ghia/lauki, peeled, de-seeded & chopped
1 cup moth beans sprouts/Matki/Muth
1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
salt to taste
A pinch of sugar to taste
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida

1. Heat oil. Add cumin seeds & asafoetida.
2. Add chopped bottlegourd, moth sprouts & chili-ginger paste.
3. Add 1 tbsp water and cover and cook till the gourd is cooked but not squished.
4. Add coriander-cumin seed powder, salt & sugar.
5. Let all the liquid evaporate. Serve hot with hot rotlas.

Note -
1. If the gourd is very fresh, you do not have to add any sugar.

This post is my contribution to Pooja's VoTW - Bottlegourd Event.

Less is More - Maya's Cucumber Pancakes

When Nupur announced "Less is more" event for the Monthly Blog Patrol Jul 2008, I thought it's quite an innovative theme. As I started looking for the bookmarked recipes from my blogger buddies, I realized that this event is rather addictive. It's fun to cook something quick, using less ingredients and celebrate the taste of the dish without overpowering & overcrowding with too many ingredients. Maya's "Tavahya Bhakri" was on my list for a long time (along with her many other recipes!) and it was perfect for the the current theme.

Original Recipe by - Maya
Recipe Source - Maya's Tavshya Bhakri
My modifications -
The original recipe called for coconut. Instead of coconut, I used ground flax seeds. For the health benefits, I am in love with these flax seeds and I use them from rotis to dosas, muffins to pancakes!

Ingredients used -
1. Rawa /semolina
2. Cucumber
3. Salt
4. Oil
5. Ground Flax seeds
Thanks, Maya, for this wonderful recipe!

This post is my entry to MBP : Less is more event at Nupur's One Hot Stove.

MBP is started by Coffee of The Spice Cafe.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dudhi Halwa

I make dudhi halwa using part-skim ricotta cheese instead of Indian khoya/khava/mawa.
Dudhi Halwa
Bottlegourd Pudding
2 1/2  cups peeled, grated bottlegourd/dudhi/lauki/ghia
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

4-5 green cardamoms, peeled & crushed to powder
1 tsp ghee (optional)
10-12 charolis or 1 tbsp doodh masala or almond/pistachio slivers

1. Peel and discard the seeds of the bottlegourd. Grate the gourd.
2. Steam the grated dudhi/gourd, adding milk in a pressure cooker.
3. Add the steamed dudhi in a saucepan. Add ricotta cheese, sugar.
4. Keep stirring on a low flame till the liquid evaporates. Add ghee if using. Give a quick stir. Switch off the gas.
5. Add charoli or doodh masala and cardamom powder.
6. Serve hot or cold.

Note -
1. You can use more or less sugar based on your preference.
2. I use ricotta cheese when a recipe calls for khoya/khava/mawa. You can most certainly use khoya.
3. For dudhi halwa, my mom always uses charolis for garnish. I use anything from charoli, pista/almonds or doodh masala - whatever is easily accessible in my pantry!

My dudhi plant is growing in the container garden.

This post is my contribution to Pooja's VoTW - Bottlegourd Event.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mint Pullao

I made this simple mint pullao for the dinner. This is Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe which appeared in Bombay Times, a few years ago. It's a wonderful recipe and mint imparts a refreshing flavor.

Recipe Link -


PannoLi - A Gujarati Idli

PannoLi is a protein packed steamed dumpling from Gujarat. I call it Gujarati Idlis. The batter is made from Moong daal and they are steamed in the idli stand lined up with banana leaves. I do not have access to banana leaves but do have fresh turmeric leaves from my container garden. So I made my fusion food of Gujarati & South Canara cuisine by lining it with turmeric leaves. Whichever leaves you use, don't forget to peel them off before eating!;-)

Gujarati Idlis
1 cup yellow moong daal
salt to taste
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp plain yogurt

1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp chopped red bell pepper (Optional)

1 tsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp coconut, grated

1. Soak moong daal in water for 6 hours.
2. Grind to a fine paste adding turmeric powder, asafoetida.
3. Stir in yogurt and chili ginger paste and keep aside for fermenting for 6 hours.
4. Grease idli container and line them with turmeric or banana leaves.
5. Add salt, baking soda to the batter.
6. Add to the idli containers. Steam just like you would steam idlis.
7. Take the pannolis out.
8. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add the ingredients for tempering. Pour over the pannolis.
9. Garnish with cilantro and coconut.

Notes -
1. You can cut the leftover pannolis into four and add to the kadhi as shown below.
2. I did not use sesame seeds as I didn't have them in the pantry. But sesame seeds enhance the taste of the tempering.
3. You can use mag ni daal na dhokla batter to make pannoli.

This post is my contribution to Sangeeth's Eat Healthy:Protein rich event.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rani Mukerji's Macher Jhol

Last few weeks Bollywood bug has bitten us. We are catching up on a lot of Bollywood movies. So I thought of having this silly guessing game on my blog. Thanks, friends for playing along.

Only Juby was right. The recipe is by Rani Mukerji!! I am sorry, I couldn't give any more clues than "Bollywood Cuisine".

Gudiya too watched a few Hindi movies like "My Friend, Ganesha" and "Luv-Kush" (Animated). She saw some zatkas and matkas of Bollywoods Songs DVD. She asked me the meaning of "Ladki kyu na jaane kyu, ladkonsi nahi hoti..." (Hum Tum). Well, now translating Bollywood songs to a 4 year old is not an easy task for me. But I told her it's just a nursery rhyme! ":-D
"Sugar & Spice, & everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of!"
Well, since then that song and Rani both have become Gudiya's favorites!!:-D

Today's recipe of Macher Jhol is supposed to be by Rani Mukerji. Told you I am crazy!! :-) Now what are the chances that Rani Mukerjee would call me for dinner or vice versa? So I will never know if it's a real recipe or not:-D

I had got this recipe from Filmfare Online a few years back. Every single recipe is special to me. So I never threw it away. and made Rani Mukherjee's so called "Macher Jhol"!!:-)

Please take this recipe in a lighter vein.

Though I more or less followed the same recipe, I made it in a very small quantity using a Rainbow Trout. I also added some onions and ginger because that's what I remember eating at a friend's place.

Rani Mukerji's Macher Jhol
Bengali Fish Curry
1 kg River Fish, cleaned, sliced
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp kalonji seeds
salt to taste
80 gm mustard oil

1 onion, chopped
250 gm tomatoes, chopped
2 green chilies, slit

2 red chilies, halved

1 tbsp water
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ginger minced
A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
Mustard oil for deep frying

1. Apply salt and turmeric powder to the fish slices. Set aside to drain.
2. Make a paste with chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger and water.
3. Heat oil in a kadai. Deep fry fish slices till crisp.
4. Heat oil in a saucepan. When it is smoking hot, add kalonji.
5. Add spice paste and saute for 2 minutes.
6. Add tomatoes, slit green chilies and simmer till tomatoes are a mush.
7. Add the fried fish slices, cover and simmer on a low flame for 5 minutes.

8. Garnish with coriander leaves
9. Serve with plain rice.

Notes -
As mentioned above I do not know how authentic the recipe is, but I thought it's kind of fun to do Bollywood Cooking this way!! :-)
Credits :-

FilmFare Online

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Guess the ..... Chef!!!!

I am on break, enjoying summer. But thought of playing this guessing game. See if you can gues it right. I will be back sometime soon with the answer!!:-D This is my first guessing game. Hope you all will play along!!:-D

Recipe Name - Macher Jhol
Recipe By - Keep Guessing!!
Clue - It's Bollywood cuisine!!!:-D

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day, America!

Image from here.
Happy Independence Day, America!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kurlyanche Daangar

Kurlyanche Daangar
Malvani Crab Cakes
1 cup crab meat
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp tamarind pulp
salt to taste
1 tsp malvani masala or chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp rice rawa /coarsely ground rice

oil for shallow frying

1. Rinse the crab meat. Crumble it with your hand
2. Mix the rest of the ingredients except oil.
3. Make small balls and flatten them with your palm.
4. Heat oil in a pan. Shallow fry on a low flame.
5. Let brown spots appear on both the sides.

Note -
1. I used "Whole Foods" Crab meat which, apparently, was a product of India. I don't like to use artificial crab meat.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Idliwallas in Mumbai scurry from the busy streets honking their horns on the bicycles. They have a huge aluminum pot on the back seat of the cycle and the horn announces their arrival as well takes them out of the busy crowd. I must admit, I have never eaten idlis from them, as mom makes excellent idlis at home. But I always wanted to try from these idliwalas. Maybe when I go to Mumbai...

Steamed Rice Dumplings
1 cup urad daal
2 or 3 or 4 cups rice
A handful of thick pressed rice
salt to taste
Oil for greasing

1. Pick and rinse urad daal and rice separately. Soak them in different containers with enough water. Let them soak for 8 hours or overnight.
2. Next morning, grind urad daal to a smooth paste adding very little water. Set aside.
3. Wash thick poha and grind drained rice and poha together to paste.
4. Mix well with the urad daal paste. Cover and set aside for fermenting.
5. Depending on the temperature/climate, the idli batter will rise and will be double in size.
6. Heat water in pressure cooker. Grease idli stand.
7. Pour a ladleful batter in each cavity.
8. Place idli stand in the pressure cooker. Cook on high flame without placing weight for 12 minutes.
9. Lower the gas and steam for another 10 minutes.
10. Switch off the gas. Wait for 5 minutes. Open the lid of the pressure cooker.
11. Take out the idli stand. Let it cool down a little.
12. Scoop idlis out using a butter knife without poking the steamed idlis.

Note -
1. If making idlis in a cold climate, you may need to add 1/2 tsp baking soda to make fluffy idlis.
2. Different people have different proportions for rice:urad daal ratio.
For a traditional Konkani fare, serve fresh idlis with chutney and coconut oil.


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