Saturday, May 30, 2009

Strawberry Ice Cream

Recipe Source -

Cooking Light

This strawberry Ice cream along with strawberry basundi are going to Happy Cook's delicious Strawbery Feast.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rangooni Vaal nu Shaak

One look at this Rangooni Vaal nu shaak, and Gudiya declared that it's the "Pebbles Curry". What's in the name after all. Stone Soup, Pebble curry, Rock Stew... whatever she wants to name, as long as she eats it well, makes me happy. She actually enjoyed eating those - ahem - pebbles.

Rangooni Vaal are the big white lima beans. Raisins add a nice touch to this yummy curry.

Rangooni Vaal nu Shaak
Lima Beans Curry
1 cup dry rangooni vaal/large lima beans, soaked overnight
1 medium potato, peeled, chopped
2 tbsp raisins
salt to taste
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp jaggery
1 tsp Gujarati Garam Masala (or per taste)
1/2 tsp mild chili powder or paprika (or per taste)

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp owa/ajmo/ajwain
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Garnish (optional)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

1. Pressure cook soaked vaals and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai , wok or saucepan.
3. Add all the tempering ingredients.
4. As they sizzle add potatoes. Saute till the potatoes are cooked.
5. Now add raisins. Saute till they puff up.
6. Now add Gujarati garam masala, chili powder, salt, tamarind and jaggery.
7. Add cooked lima beans and 1/2 cup water. Mix well without breaking the beans.
8. Let the water evaporate or add more if you desire to have gravy.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro - if using.

Note -
1. The lima beans will almost double in quantity after soaking overnight.

This post is my entry to MLLA - 11th helping.

MLLA is started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fada Na Dhokla - Broken Wheat Dhokla

I find the steamed dumplings like dhokla very healthy and delicious. And now, if you make one with the broken wheat, I think it's even better, right? To get the fermenting business right, you need to use sour buttermilk. but even not-so-sour one also works ok.

Fada Na Dhokla
Broken Wheat Dumplings
1 cup broken wheat/bulgur wheat/daliya/fada
1/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
1/4 cup coarse wheat flour
1 cup buttermilk (preferably made from sour yogurt)
1/2 tsp baking soda
salt to taste
1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
A pinch of freshly ground black peppercorns

Grind to paste
1/2" ginger
1 - 2 green chilies
1 garlic clove
A pinch of salt

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp whole flax seeds (optional)

1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp fresh coconut (optional)

1. Lightly roast broken wheat. Take it outside. While still warm, add besan and coarse wheat flour. Stir well.
2. Stir in buttermilk. Cover and keep aside for 8 hours.
3. Add green paste, salt to taste, turmeric powder, asafoetida, oil.
4. Just before steaming, add baking soda.
5. Steam like idlis. Let the dhokla cool completely. Cut into squares or diamonds.
6. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add tempering ingredients. Add sizzling oil over the dhokla pieces uniformly.
7. Garnish with cilantro & coconut if using.

Note -
1. While actually making dhokla, you can add some more water to the fermented so it resembles idli batter.
2. Remember that while grinding the green paste, it has a pinch of salt. So adjust the salt for the batter accordingly.
3. Traditionally, the green paste is made in iron or stone mortar and pestle.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dhekra - from South Gujarat

Whenever I have made this dish and served to the Maharashtrian side of my family, there is always this confused question "What is the name of this, you just said?". Dhekra in Gujarati is this delicious dish from South Gujarat but the same name in Marathi means burps!!:-D

Steamed Dumplings
2 cups vada nu loat
4 cups water
1 packet fresh or frozen tuver lilva = 2 1/2 cups

Tempering 1

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chili- ginger paste

2 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp flax seeds (optional)

Tempering 2

1 tbsp oil

3-4 boriya chilies or any dry chilies

2 tbsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp asafoetida

Garnish (Optional)

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/cilantro
1 lemon , freshly squeezed

Suggested Accompaniment
GarvaNu (Traditional)
Tomato Ketchup (my choice!)

1. Heat 1 tsp oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering
2. As they sizzle, add water slowly. Now add salt.
3. Now add tuver lilva and bring to boil.
4. Lower the flame. Add vada nu loat. Keep stirring till all the water is absorbed.
5. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.
6. With oiled hands, knead the warm dough.
7. Make small balls and press them a little to give "pedha" /"Penda".
8. Steam these dumplings like you would steam dhoklas or idlis.
9. Let them cool down completely.
10. Now cut these dumplings in 4 pieces each.
11. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a big wok or kadai - preferably nonstick.
12. Add the ingredients for tempering2.
13. As they sizzle, add steamed dumplings and shallow fry till they are slightly crunchy.
14. Serve immediately with GarvaNu for the traditional South Gujarati delicacy.

Note -

1. These dumplings swell a little after steaming. So leave some space between and steam them in batches.
2. They taste even better if deep fried.
3. Surati Lilva can be used instead of tuver lilva.
4. I used frozen tuver lilva. But fresh tuver lilva tastes even better. But do not use dried tuver/toor/pigeon beans
5. Flax seeds is not the part of the original recipe. I have added it to boost the nutritional value.
6. If serving with the traditional accompaniment of GarvaNu, do not use garnish of cilantro and lemon juice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kanda Bataka nu Bhat - Onion & Potato Rice

After marriage, my MIL joined a big joint family. When she was reminiscing about those days, I asked her if it was like "Q ki Saans bhi Kabhi bahu thi"? She chuckeled and said, Well, one major difference was our sans (MIL) and all her bahus (DILs) used to be in an extrme hurry to catch the Mumbai locals every morning. Now that's a nice plot for some real time soap, isn't it?:-D

Anyways, MIL told me that every chore was divided and everyone had turns. But Sunday evenings used to be a free time. All the couples and their own children got to go out to the Chowpaty to have their own free time. As a result, dinner was entirely dadiji's responsibility. and she herself being a working woman, she too had her next day Monday blues. So dinner was almost always "Kanda Bataka nu bhaat" served with athanu (pickle), papads & yogurt.

Kanda Bataka nu Bhaat
Onion-Potato Rice
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
12 baby potatoes, rinsed, unpeeled
1 1/2 cup rice, rinsed
salt to taste
1 tsp Gujarati garam masala (or per taste)
1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
1 tsp green chili-ginger paste

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Suggested Accompaniment
Plain yogurt

1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker or handi.
2. Add mustard seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida, cumin seeds.
3. As they sizzle, add onions. Saute till they are soft. Add chili-ginger paste & Gujarati garam masala.
4. Now add whole baby potatoes. Saute for 10 minutes adding spoonful of water if needed.
5. Now add rice. Saute for a minutes. Add 3 cups water, salt. Bring to boil.
6. Close the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
7. Let the pressure drop of its own.
8. Fluff the rice with a fork.
9. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves/cilantro.

Note -
1. You can use medium potatoes. But peel and chop them.
2. You can use ginger-garlic paste instead of chili-ginger paste.
3. For richer flavor, use ghee instead of oil.
4. You can also make this rice in a saucepan, without using pressure cooker.

I am sending this entry over to Nags for Monthly Mingle#33 - Ravishing Rice.

Monthly Mingle event is started by Meeta of What's for Lunch, honey?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gujarati Garam Masala

My MIL's original recipe is given below. But that proportion is too big for me so I always make this masala in a small quantity.

Gujarati Garam Masala
1/4 cup Coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 stick of cinnamon
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cloves
2 bay leaves, torn

1. Roast all the spices one after the other.
2. Grind in a spice or coffee grinder.
3. Store in an airtight container.

My MIL's Gujarati Garam Masala on a big scale -
2 kg coriander seeds
500 gm cumin seeds
100 gm mixture of cinnamon, peppercorn, cloves and bay leaves

Follow the same method as above.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Khasta Badam from Mumbai

Can you guess what nuts are these? If you think they are almonds, think again!! These are the nuts/seeds inside the apricot - called JardaLu in Marathi. Indian apricots look different than those available here. I recently came to know that these jardalu seeds are called Khasta Badam. I got mine from the dry fruit stores in Mumbai. They are supposed to be rich in the anti-oxidants.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bohri Samosa

There are at least 3-4 American Desi ways of making samosas that I learnt after coming to US. The first one is this "Phyllo one". You can use any stuffing of your choice.

Bohri Samosa
Minced Meat Turnovers
1 recipe Kheema
Cooking oil spray
1. Thaw the pastry sheet according to the package instructions.
2. Preheat oven 350 F
3. Spread 3 pastry sheets one on top of the other. Make horizontal strips.
4. Wet the strips quickly. The remaining strips need to be covered with wet paper towel when not using.
5. Spread kheema stuffing as shown. 6. Quickly fold it to make a triangular shape.
7. Imagine you are doing an Origami!!:-D
8. Make rest of the samosa accordingly. Keep the "ready to bake" samosas covered with a wet paper or cotton towel.
9. Spray some cooking oil on the samosas. Bake for total of 20 - 22 minutes or till the samosas are nice and brown. Flip after 10 minutes.
10. Serve hot with tomato ketchup or chaat chutney.
Note -
1. You have to be really quick when dealing with the phyllo pastry sheets. If they get exposed to the air, they become very dry and difficult to fold. So remember to keep them covered with a damp towel.
2. Any veggie stuffing of your choice can also be used.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chokha na Rotla - Rice Flatbread

I always thought Rice Bhakri is the speciality of Maharashtra/Konkan. I never knew that it is also made and relished in Gujarat. South Gujarat is the region that borders Maharashtra and rice is cultivated in the area. They too have their own variety of red rice. and generally, at nights the dinner is almost always "chokha na rotla" . I learnt this rotla recently during my MIL's visit.

Chokha na Rotla - makes 5
Rice Flatbread
1/2 cup rice flour
1/3 cup water (approx)
2 tbsp rice flour for dredging

1. Take rice flour in a big plate or paraat.
2. Add water gingerly to make a dough.
3. Keep kneading till the dough does not stick back to your palm anymore. This is the most crucial step in order to pat the rotlas perfectly.
4. Make 5 small balls.
5. Using only palm of your hand (without using fingers), pat the ball dredged in rice flour. As you pat, the rotla should get bigger in the circumference and also should rotate circularly.
6. Heat a griddle or a pan.
7. Place the rotla on the pan. As the bubbles appear, flip and let it cook on the other side till brown spots appear.
8. Now put it directly on the flame. Roast well. It should puff up beautifully.
9. Serve hot off the flame with laal vaal nu shaak or adad ni daal.

Note -
1. Make rotlas ready just before serving. It tastes the best right hot off the flame.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Serve this spring beverage with ambe daal or watli daal - recipe coming soon.

Raw Mango Beverage
1 raw mango
1/4 cup jaggery, grated or per taste
salt to taste
5 cardamoms, peeled & crushed
4 cups water
1/2 lemon (only if needed)*
few strand of saffron (optional)

1.Pressure cook raw mango till 3 whistles.
2. As it is cooled, squeeze out all the pulp. Discard the pit and peels.
3. Add grated jaggery, crushed cardamom powder, saffron - if using, water and salt to taste.
4. Chill and serve.

Note -
1. My mom makes the cooked raw mango pulp mixed with the rest except water in the freezer. It is then served by adding water during the scorching summer months in India.
2. Sugar can be added instead of jaggery. But jaggery gives more earthy flavor.
3. The raw mangoes available in the Indian stores are sometimes not sour enough. You can add lemon juice that time. Otherwise, lemon juice is absolutely not needed as raw mango has enough punch!:-D
4. You can strain the drink if needed, but the real taste is enjoyed by keeping all that pulp.
5. I did not use any saffron, although my mom uses it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ambe Daal

This is a simple Spring salad from my mom's kitchen. Chaitra - as the first month called in the Hindu calendar has many functions. and this salad along with panhe (raw mango beverage) and/or watli daal celebrates spring in Maharashtra.

Ambe Daal
Mango-Daal Salad
1/2 cup chana daal, soaked overnight
1-2 green chilies, chopped
1/2 green mango, peeled & grated

salt to taste
sugar to taste (optional)

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

1/2 lemon (only if needed)
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp fresh coconut, scraped

1. Drain chana daal. Keep aside 1 tbsp aside. Grind the rest with green chilies without adding any water. Take out in a mixing bowl. Add spoonful of the remaining chana daal.
2. Stir in the grated raw mango, salt to taste.
3. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add all the ingredients. Add sizzling oil in the mixture.
4. Garnish with cilantro and coconut.

Note -
1. The raw mango that I get here, is not sour enough so sometimes I also squeeze some lemon juice.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kobij ni Kachumbar

Kobij ni kachumbar, Sev tameta and phulkas

When my MIL shared her recipe of cabbage salad, she meant just green cabbage and green bell peppers. But I thought, adding purple cabbage and colorful bell peppers will add more excitement. These days, Gudiya has announced "Eat Your Colors" plan, as her teachers have been telling the kids about healthy eating habits.

Kobij Ni Kachumbar
Cabbage Salad
1 small purple cabbage, grated
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, peeled & grated
salt to taste
2 key limes, squeezed


1/2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafeotida


1. Mix all the ingredients together.

2. Heat oil in a small saucepan.

3. Add mustard seeds and asafoetida.

4. Drizzle the oil over the salad. Mix well.

5. Serve or refrigerate and serve.

Note -

1. Even a small purple cabbage makes a huge amount of salad. So adjust the other ingredients accordingly.

2. For the original recipe, green cabbage and green bell peppers are used.

Monday, May 18, 2009


If someone ever offers you "Dhapate" - make sure the person is giving you these delicious edible ones and not the other!! The other meaning of "Dhapate" in Marathi is slaps on the back!!:-D
I think these dhapate can be considered as a variation of Thalipeeth.

Dhapate - Count 4 or 5
Multi-grain pat-a-cake
3/4 cup jowar flour/sorghum flour
1/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
2 tbsp rice flour
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 green chili, minced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp goda masala
1/4 tsp owa/ajwain/carrom seeds
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp whole flax seeds (optional)*
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp hot oil

oil for roasting

Suggested Accompaniment
Homemade white butter (Traditional)
Tomato ketchup (my choice!)

1. Mix all the ingredients except oil for roasting.
2. Add water gingerly to knead a dough.
3. Heat a tawa or pan. Make equal balls about 4 or 5. Pat them on the pan using wet hands. Make one hole in a center.
4. Add a drop of oil in the center. Cover with a lid. Let it cook. Remove the lid. Flip and cook on the other side.
5. Serve with homemade white butter/loNi or makhan.

Note -
1. Flax seeds are not the part of the original recipe. I add them along with sesame seeds.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ussal Pav

What "Pav Bhaji" was to us, "Ussal Pav" was to my mom and her siblings when they were growing up in Mumbai. It was a spicy & rare treat which they all used to look forward to eating whenever they visited their uncle's home. My grandmother used to scorn the thought of eating the "outside" food, so it was really a rare treat. but she couldn't do much when the kids visited their uncle and had loads of fun devouring this Ussal.

I pestered my mom and aunts to take a walk down the memory lane and remember their childhood recipe. It was not the usual Maharashtrian UsaL, even the pronunciation is slightly different - it's ussal rather than usaL. It was more of a thin & spicy curry, flavored with sambar masala and curry leaves and you need to dunk in the fresh pavs to soak it up. The owner of that shop was one Shetty Mama - that's what they called the vendor. It's fun visiting Mumbai from my parents memory lane. It's so different than the Mumbai I grew up.

& here's my version of Usaal Pav -

Ussal Pav
1 1/2 cup white peas/vatana, soaked
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida

2 potatoes, boiled, peeled & cut
2 tbsp sambar masala or KoLumbo Masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp tamarind powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp coconut
1/2 tbsp jaggery

Grind to Green paste * -
1/2 cup cilantro
4 garlic cloves
1/2" ginger
2 green chilies

1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
Green Paste*
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
3 red chilies, halved


1 onion, minced

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Lemon wedges

Nylon sev

Suggested Accompaniment



1. Pressure cook white vatana/peas adding turmeric powder, asafoetida and water.

2. Heat oil. Add curry leaves, cumin seeds and red chilies. As they sizzle, add onion. As onion turns soft, add green paste and saute for 2 minutes.

3. Now add cooked peas, potatoes and all the remaining ingredients (except for garnishing ingredients). Add 3 cups water. Bring to boil.

4. Let it simmer. Keep adding water as needed. Mash few of the potatoes and peas with the back of spoon.

5. While serving, garnish with onion, cilantro and sev in the individual bowls. Serve with pav.

Note -

1. The consistency of this curry should be thin for paav to soak up all the yummy curry. Since Kolumbo masala have daals in it, the curry gets thicker as it goes on simmering. So keep adding more water and make sure it gets boiled again.

2. According to my mom, this curry used to be quite oily and spicy. But I have reduced the oil and spice both. Adjust per your taste.

3. I used my grandmother's KoLumbo Masala for this curry.

This post is my contribution to Pallavi's Sunday Snacks - Chaats.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Strawberry Basundi

I do not like strawberries or anything made from them. Only exception is fresh strawberry icecream that I had at Mahabaleshwar. but my SIL is a huge fan of strawberries so this is what I made when she came to visit.

Strawberry Basundi
Strawberry Dessert
1 recipe Basundi, chilled
1 cup fresh, juicy strawberries, chopped
1 tsp sugar

1. Make sure that basundi is completely chilled.
2. Chop strawberries. Mash 1/4 cup of strawberries. Stir in 1 tsp sugar and mix well. and keep in the refrigerator till ready to use.
3. Just before serving, add strawberries in individual serving bowls. Add basundi in each bowl.
4. Stir gently and serve immediately.

1. Never add strawberries or any other fruit to the hot basundi. It will curdle the milk.
2. Always prepare individual strawberry basundi bowls rather than stirring in the big cold basundi container. As leftover basundi with strawberries in it may spoil next day.

This post is going to Happy Cook's delicious Strawbery Feast.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ambya Upkari - Mango Curry

As a kid, I never cared for two delicious mango curries. One was this upkari and the other was sasam. I think I would probably taste a drop or so and then excuse myself. What blasphemy!! Now my blog encourages me to try all those distant delicacies. Yes, distant because I don't have access to Raival mangoes that were used to make this curry. So I substituted Mexican mangoes from Costco. And for first time in my life, I ate this curry heartily. Looks like my taste buds have finally matured!:-D

Ambya Upkari
Ripe Mango Curry
3 ripe Mexican mangoes (Champagne variety)
1 1/2 tbsp jaggery (or per taste)
1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)*
salt to taste
Mix together and set aside
1 tbsp wheat flour + 1/4 cup water
1 tsp ghee/toop/clarified butter
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
3 red chilies, halved (byadgi preferably)
1. Rinse mangoes and press them around. Remove the peel around the stem. Take out mangoes and juices in a mixing bowl. Add some water to the peels and try to squeeze all mango juice. Set aside. Discard the peels. The total juice should be about 2 cups.
2. Heat ghee in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, red chilies and curry leaves.
3. As the seeds start to splutter, add mangoes with juice.
4. Add salt , jaggery and chili powder. As the curry starts to simmer, and jaggery seems to have melted, add wheat flour+ water mixture. Keep stirring as the curry comes to boil.
5. Switch off the gas. Serve warm.
Note -
1. Traditionally, Raival mangoes are used for this curry. I have substituted Mexican mangoes called Champagne from Costco.
2. My mom does not add chili powder*. But when the curry was simmering it looked too yellow to my eyes. So I wanted to get the color right.
3. When mixing wheat flour and water as a thickener, make sure no lumps remain.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sev Tameta

This "shaak" is my mom-in-law's backup plan. If kids grumble about vegetable, or if some guests show up unexpectedly or when tomatoes are in the season, "Sev Tameta" shows up and makes everyone happy!

Sev Tameta
10 roma tomatoes, chopped 4 cups
1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder, mild
1 - 1 1/2 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 - 1 cup Spicy sev
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tbsp coconut (optional)

1. Heat oil in kadai or saucepan.
2. Add asafoetida and turmeric powder.
3. As they sizzle, add chopped tomatoes.
4. Let the tomatoes cook in their own juices.
5. Add chili powder, salt to taste and jaggery.
6. Let the water evaporate. Switch off the gas.
7. Just before serving, garnish with sev, cilantro and coconut - if using.

Note -
1. Sometimes, my MIL adds half amount of sev to the above shaak after switching off the gas. and remaining half is garnished on the individual plates. This makes some sev soft and some crispy. However, we prefer all crispy sev!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Haladar-Ambahaladar ni Kadhi

It's fun to watch how that white buttermilk mixture turns bright yellow as you stir this kadhi using fresh turmeric root.

Haladar-Ambahaladar ni Kadhi
1 cup plain yogurt (I used fat-free organic)
2 cups water
2 tbsp besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
2 tsp jaggery


2 tsp oil or ghee

1/4 tsp methi seeds

4 cloves

2-3 boriya chilies

1 tbsp ambehalad/ambahaladar/mango ginger, peeled, chopped or grated

1/2 tbsp fresh turmeric, peeled, chopped or grated

1 tsp ginger, peeled, chopped or grated


1. Whisk yogurt, water, salt and jaggery with besan. Make sure that no lumps of besan remain. Keep aside.

2. Heat oil or ghee in a saucepan. Add cloves, asafoetida , fenugreek seeds. As they sizzle, add chilies, ginger, mango ginger & fresh turmeric. Saute for 30 seconds.

3. Add yogurt mixture. Bring to boil while stirring continuously.

4. Switch off the gas.

5. Serve hot with Khichdi.

Note -

1. Mango ginger & fresh turmeric may taste little pungent if you have never tasted it before. In that case, grate them instead of chopping.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fresh Turmeric Pickle

The other day when I went to Whole Foods, I saw Turmeric capsules. Yes, turmeric is that good for you. I was just amazed how it is omnipresent in most of the Indian cuisine. So without taking much efforts, we consume our daily quota. Though Indian cuisine differs from region to region & state to state, it's amazing to see how spices and herbs are intelligently used with the traditions of Ayurveda. My next stop after Whole Foods was our local Indian stores, and there I saw fresh turmeric roots along with mango-ginger roots. I had to take those to make this anti-oxidant rich pickle. Did I mention oil-free too?

The exact same pickle is made in my Maharashtrian as well as Gujarati family during the winter months in Mumbai. That's the time both these roots are readily available in the market.

HaLad - Ambe HaLad Lonache/Haladar-Amba Haldar Athanu
1/4 cup fresh turmeric, peeled, chopped finely
1/4 cup fresh mango ginger, peeled, chopped finely
1 - 2 green chilies, minced
2-3 key limes, squeezed
salt to taste

1. Peel both the fresh turmeric roots and mango ginger roots taken in equal quantity.
2. Chop them finely.
3. Add chopped green chilies, salt to taste.
4. Squeeze fresh lime or lemon juice.
5. Mix well & serve. Refrigerate any unused portion.

Note -
1. Before handling fresh turmeric, remember that it bleeds the color and your hands, fingers, nails, white appliances, chopping board - everything will be bright yellow. If you want, you can use gloves.
2. Make this pickle on a small quantity as it needs to be consumed quickly. Refrigerate after being used. It should be consumed within a week.
3. New and fresh ginger root can also be added in the above pickle. But make sure it is less in the quantity. For above proprtion, use 1 tbsop chopped ginger if using.
4. Like most of the pickles, store it in a ceramic or glass container with a lid.
5. If you have never tasted this pickle before, you may find it quite pungent in taste - especially fresh turmeric. But remember it's extremely good for you!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lychee Icecream & Happy Mother's Day

Gudiya and her dad made this ice-cream for me under my supervision!!:-D

Gudiya wanted to serve me the breakfast in the bed. Flashback - Many moons back, her dad had served me coffee with salt in it. So I said - No please!:-D

Gudiya decided to bake a cake with her dad. I reminded her the story of "Froggie Bakes a cake" where little froggie bakes a cake with his dad for his mother and the cake explodes and the house is in mess. So finally they all eat out to enjoy mom's special day!:-D

Oh well, I thought this simple, mess free recipe of lychee icecream will make Gudiya happy. It surely made me happy!!:-D

Happy Mother's Day!!

Lychee Ice-cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk (fat free)
1 can evaporated milk (fat free)
1 cup heavy cream

1 can lychees (I used polar brand), rinsed, drained,chopped


1. Mix first three ingredients

2. Drain and rinse lychees.

3. Chop them finely. Squeeze out all the water.

4. Stir in the milk mixture.

5. Freeze for 4-6 hours.

6. Take out about 10 minutes and then scoop and serve.

Note -

1. Make sure to chop lychees finely and squeeze water otherwise they may taste very icy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fresh Turmeric & Mango Ginger

Ambe haLad (Mango Ginger) & Oli haLad (Fresh Turmeric)

Recipes to try -

1. Fresh Turmeric Pickle

2. Fresh Turmeric Kadhi

Friday, May 8, 2009

Keri Ni ChheeN (1)

This is my MIL's recipe.

Keri Ni ChheeN(1)
Raw Mango Chutney
1/2 of a raw mango, peeled & grated
1 white onion, peeled & grated
2 tbsp jaggery, grated
salt to taste
1 tsp chili powder (or per taste)

1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida

1. Mix grated raw mango, white onion and jaggery with salt.
2. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds & asafoetida.
3. Pour sizzling oil over the chutney.
4. Refrigerate the remaining chutney. Use within 2 days.

Note -
1. You get special dry white onions knotted together in India. Traditionally, those are used. I used regular white onion.
2. Make sure that the ratio of grated raw mango: white onion is 1 : 1.
3. Depending on the sourness of mango, adjust the jaggery.
4. As far as possible, store in a ceramic or glass container.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Paneer "Ricotta" Bhurji

The only cheese I really like is "Paneer" which is also known as cottage cheese in India. So when I arrived in US, I was overjoyed to see "cottage cheese" at the dairy section. I happily got a big jar and can you imagine how astonished I was to see those small droplets of yogurt inside? Cottage cheese of US is totally different than the cottage cheese of India. Oh well...

Paneer "Ricotta" bhurji
15 oz Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
1/2 tsp kitchen king masala or garam masala
1/4 tsp chaat masala
salt to taste

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, minced about 1/2 cup
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, only outer green chopped
1 tbsp chopped bell pepper/capsicum
1 spring onion, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp cashew, broken into pieces
2 tbsp raisins

1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Suggested Accompaniment

1. Heat oil in a nonstick kadai or wok.
2. Add cumin seeds. As they sizzle,add onions.
3. As the onions turn soft, add tomatoes, jalapeno or bell pepper, spring onion - if using, cashews and raisins. Saute till the onion becomes brownish.
4. Now, add crumbled ricotta cheese. Saute for 10 minutes. Ricotta cheese will appear to be melting. But keep on sauteing.
5. Add salt and chaat masala. Saute for another 10 minutes without letting it stick to the bottom of the pan.
6. Switch off the gas. Let it cool down. As it cools down, it will get firmer. Stir it a little to get the scrambled egg consistency.
7. Garnish with cilantro.
8. Serve with rumali rotis.

Note -
1. This is the "American Desi" version. Something you make when you don't find the right ingredient. So this bhurji does not replace the original taste. It tastes good but lacks in the texture of the "real" paneer.
2. For making the real paneer, see here.
3. Chaat masala has rock salt in it. So adjust salt accordingly.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gavasani - Rice & Wheat Roti

One nostalgic day, my mom told me about this roti called "GavasaNi" which is like stuffed paratha. But the stuffing is of cooked rice flour known as "Ukad" in Marathi. So I experimented a little and made these rice & wheat rotis. I must warn you that they are quite filling. Just one paratha is more than enough. Also, they were so easily rolled into thin rotis that I was amazed. They could have become bigger and bigger but then I had to stop as that's all my poLpaat - rolling board and tawa - griddle could hold!

GavasaNi - makes about 9
Rice & Wheat Paratha
For stuffing
2 cups water
1 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oil
For Rotis -
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp flax seeds powder (optional)
1 tsp oil
water to knead
Rice flour for dredging the rotis while rolling
Suggested Accompaniment
Any spicy Curry
0. Knead a dough with wheat flour, salt, oil and flax seed powder - if using. Cover and keep aside.
1. Bring water to boil in a big saucepan. Add salt, cumin seeds and oil.
2. As it boils, slowly add rice flour. Keep stirring.
3. Mix well so the rice flour absorbs all the water. Switch off the gas. Cover with a lid and keep aside for at least 10 minutes.
4. Take the cooked rice flour in a big plate. Using the back of a ramekin or katori/vati, knead the dough and keep aside.
5. Heat a frying pan/tawa or griddle.
6. Take a ball of wheat dough. Roll into a small disc. Stuff a ball of rice dough. Bring all the corners together to form a ball. Roll into rice flour. Roll into a big chapati/roti of the desired circumference.
7. Roast on the pan till brown spots appear on both sides.
8. Serve with ghee on side.

1. For variation, chopped green chilies can be added while boiling the water for the rice flour

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Matkichi UsaL

Mom always made matkichi usal by pressure cooking everything together and then tempering it. She had 2 good reasons for it. First, she saved oil since everything was pre-cooked and more importantly, she saved time as while packing the fresh "dabbas" - lunchboxes, she also had to pay attention to the clock to catch her daily local train.

Matkichi UsaL
3 cups Matki sprouts
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled & chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 green chilies, slit
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp jaggery

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp goda masala

2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh coconut, scraped

1. Pressure cook matki sprouts with potato, tomato, onion, garlic and green chilies - if using. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok or kadai. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. as the mustard seeds sizzle, add goda masala. Saute quickly for 30 seconds.
3. Now, add pressure cooked matki along with the cooking liquid. If cooking liquid is too less, add 1/4 cup water. Add salt and jaggery. Bring to boil.
4. Let it simmer till water is evaporated.
5. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.

Note -
1. You can serve this usal with some lemon wedges and sev.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Thalipeeth - name, aroma & taste - transports me to my aaji's kitchen. A simple snack made quickly and served with homemade white butter/loNi - well, I prefer mine with ketchup - is a traditional Maharashtrian delicacy. I love the innovative way of making holes in the middle so just a few drops of oil are used to roast it.

Thalipeeth - Makes 4 count
Pat a pancake
2 tbsp ground flax seeds (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 - 2 green chilies, chopped
salt to taste
2 tbsp purple cabbage, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp carrots, shredded (optional)
1 tbsp spinach, shredded (optional)

1. Swirl salt in the dry bhajNi. Add all the vegetables. Add water gingerly to make dough.
2. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan or tawa.
3. Make 4 balls of the dough. Take a ball. Wet your palm. Place the ball right on the pan and start spreading by patting with the wet palm. Make sure it is thinly spreaded.
4. Using the back of a spoon, prick 3-4 holes around the circumference of the pancake.
5. Drizzle some oil in the holes. & cover with a lid. Let it cook.
6. Open the lid. Flip on the other side. Let it cook without any lid now.
7. When it is cooked from both sides, take it out and serve hot with a dollop of white homemade butter/loNi.
Note -
1. Traditionally, cabbage, spinach or carrots are not added. My mom adds it to boost the nutritional value. Add any or all veggies based on your preference.
2. If you want it spicier, add some chili powder as well.
3. Patting thalipeeth directly on tawa needs a little practice. You can pat it by keeping the ball between plastic or saran wrap. And then place it on the tawa.
4. Make sure that the ball of the dough is a perfect round to get a perfect circle of thalipeeth.

Friday, May 1, 2009


My dad loves basundi. So mom used to make it many times. We too loved it. Generally, for Akshay Trutiya, mom always makes this sweet. Last Monday, was akshay trutiya. Mom was really surprised to know (through email) that I made it on a week day. But the secret is that, mom's version involves boiling, simmering and evaporating milk on a low flame while stirring with a ladle. I used a short cut by adding evaporated milk and condensed milk. Come on, it was a week day and I am too lazy.

Though Basundi is the sweet milk dessert made in Maharashtra and Gujarat, I think , it is also made in different parts of India and probably goes by different names. North Indian Rabdi is made by evaporating basundi even more and thus results in thicker texture.

Milk Dessert
3 cups milk (2%)
1 can evaporated milk (Fat Free OK)
1 can Sweetened condensed milk (Fat free OK)
5 cardamoms, peeled & crushed/powdered
1/2 tsp charoLi

1. Boil all three types of milk together in a heavy bottomed pot.
2. As it comes to boil, reduce the gas to the lowest. let it simmer for 10 minutes while stirring.
3. Switch off the gas. Add cardamom powder and charoLi.
4. Serve hot or warm with puris. or serve chilled as a dessert.

Note -
1. Many variations can be made with this basic basundi. You can make Pineapple Basundi, Orange Basundi, strawberry basundi or dry-fruit basundi. For all these fruity basundis, you need to refrigerate the basundi as well as chopped fruits. Stir them in an individual container right before serving. Do not keep the leftovers as there is a chance to curdle the milk.

2. For richer, creamier or sinfully richer taste, you can use whole milk, half-n-half and/or heavy cream.

3. If you want to try the original version, use whole milk and let it simmer till it is reduced in quantity and then add sugar and cardamom powder with charoli.

This post is my entry to Srivalli's Mithai Mela.


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