Tuesday, June 30, 2009


My visit to Indian stores or oriental stores often results in some forgotten delicacies. Like the other day, I found these beautiful banana leaves at our oriental stores. They were in the frozen section. I bought them immediately. Two wonderful recipes came to my mind: Paangi and Patra ni Machchi.

We call this banana leaves wrapped rice flat bread as "Pangi" - paa-na-gi - in Marathi or "Panki" - paa-na-ki - in Gujarati. The banana leaves give a wonderful flavor and also a nice design on this humble bhakri.

Pangi or Panki - (makes 5)
Banana leaves wrapped flat bread
1 cup rice flour
salt to taste
water as needed

1. Heat a griddle/tawa or pan.
2. Mix rice flour and salt. Knead to a dough using water as needed. The dough should not be too thick. Make 5 balls.
3. Take one banana leaf. Using wet hand, flatten one ball of rice dough to make bhakri or roti.

4. Lift the entire banana leaf carefully and place on the preheated tawa. Cover with another banana leaf. On top, cover with a lid.
5. Let it cook on medium flame for about 2-3 minutes or till the banana leaf underneath appears roasted/burnt.
6. Flip the banana leaves parcel using a tong and cook on the other side.
7. Serve immediately.
Note -
1. I found banana leaves in the frozen section of our oriental stores.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Nature's Chaat - Cucumber and Fruit

Well, I just came up with this silly name called "Nature's Chaat" because I don't know what to call it. But it was a part of Mumbai Street Food. Frankly, I secretly worried for these vendors how will they compete against the ubiquitous panipuriwallas and bhelpuriwallas.

In the scortching summer months, I used to see the cart of cucumber wallas. He was not the usual vegetable seller but just cucumber seller where he would peel and slice the cucumbers and sprinkle them with salt and chili powder. I have tried his way of eating cucumber many times at home. Just sprinkle little salt and chili powder. That's it. Delicious.

And then there were fruit chaat walas. They were more popular than the cucumberwallas for sure. Generally, they would have the seasonal fruits like watermelons, papayas, pineapples, bananas, chickoos, sweet limes sprinkled generously with chaat masala. Simple & delicious.

Then there were a few vendors who would sell sugarcane pieces (not the famous sugarcane juice/ganne ka juice/usacha rus) but small roundels of peeled sugar canes, boiled peanuts, Amlas, shingadas (fresh water chestnuts). There was also a cart of fresh khajoor and kharik. I do not know which one was which, but one used to be red and the other yellow. or I wonder if they were same but different colors? Oh, and there used to be a lady selling "Ponk" which was fresh green grains of sorghum (I think, it's called Hurda in Marathi). She would sprinkle some chili powder and salt and was available only during certain months. It used to be yum!

Cucumber Chaat
1 - 2 cucumbers, peeled, cut into sticks
A generous sprinkle of salt
A generous sprinkle of mild chili powder

1. Sprinkle and eat!!!

Fruit Chaat
Few watermelon pieces
Few papaya pieces
Few pineapple pieces
Few chickoo pieces
Few banana pieces
or any seasonal fruit of your choice like I've added cherries here
A generous sprinkle of chaat masala

1. Sprinkle & eat again!!!:-D

This post is my contribution to Aqua Daze's RCI - Mumbai Street Food.
RCI event is started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Orzo Pohe

When I first saw Orzo pasta in the supermarket, I remembered Pohe. I thought - what if...?

Now, if you love your pohe, I must warn you that, the texture is entirely different. Pohe has that distinct rough texture which we miss while eating this smooth orzo pohe. By no means, it replaces the memories, flavor and taste of the real pohe. But when & if you are in the land where you don't get pohe, it's OK to try once in a while.

Orzo Pohe
2/3 cup orzo
1/3 cup frozen mixed vegetables
salt to taste
4 cups water

1 key lime, squeezed
A pinch of sugar

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 onion, chopped
1 sprig curry leaf, torn
2 green chilies, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled & chopped

1. Add orzo and water in a big saucepan. Add frozen veggies and salt to taste. Bring to a rapid boil. Lower the gas and let it cook till orzo is cooked. Or follow the cooking directions on the packet of orzo. Drain & keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a wide saucepan or wok. Add all the seeds. As they splutter, add onion, curry leaves & green chilies. Saute for about 5 minutes till onion is soft. Now, add potato pieces. Add 1 tbsp water. Cover and let it cook till potato is soft.

3. Now add cooked orzo. Stir well. Check for salt. Add a pinch of sugar and freshly squeezed lime juice.

4. I like to sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper before serving.

5. Serve with some protein on sides.

Note -
1. You can garnish with some chopped cilantro/coriander leaves.
2. You can sprinkle some spicy sev on top!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lucknow Chicken Curry

This curry does not have any coconut but due to roasted sesame and poppy seeds, we feel it has coconut. I have tweaked this recipe from my prestige recipe booklet

Lucknowi Chicken Curry
Inspired by Prestige Recipe Booklet

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tsp ginger - garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup plain yogurt

Roast one after the other and then grind
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
7 garlic cloves
1" cinnamon
4-5 black peppercorns
4 cloves
1 big onion, peeled, sliced --> Approx. 1 cup sliced onion
1 tsp oil* (See Note below)

1 tbsp oil
2 bay leaves

3 medium tomatoes, blanched, peeled & pureed
salt to taste

1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves

Suggested Accompaniments
Rumali Roti
Jeera Rice
Tandoori Naan

1. In the pressure cooker handi, heat oil
2. Add bay leaves. As they sizzle, add the masala paste. Saute for 10 minutes.
3. Now add marinated chicken. Saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add tomato paste, salt, 1/2 cup water.
5. Close the lid of the handi. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
6. Let the pressure drop of its own. Open. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust for salt.
7. Garnish with cilantro.

Note -
1. You do not need any oil* while roasting the spices & seeds. Use 1 tsp oil while roasting sliced onion only.

Prestige Pressure Pan Recipe Booklet

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Street Sandwich

I feel there are two types of "Bombay" sandwiches. One that you buy from the street vendor and the one you get (or used to get) at the movie theatres. I haven't gotten chance to go to the multiplexes so don't know if they too serve it. (I mean Globus is something alien to me, New Talkies was the landmark, and Bandra Talkies brings back some happy memories but Suburbia sounds different. So I don't know if Suburbia and Globus still have what New Talkies and Bandra Talkies used to serve! :-). Though the concept is same, the street vendor used to put many more veggies and the theatre one used to have cucumbers and tomatoes only. Since we used to gorge on the street vendor sandwich right outside my college, I am going to share that recipe with you. So let's start with the most essential part of the sandwich - bread!

When I was growing up in Mumbai, there were quite a few sliced bread brands like Wibs, Bimbo, Britannia. Our sandwichwala always used Britannia. and there were innumerable varieties available at our local Bandra bakeries including wheat bread to which we used to call "brown bread" then. But I used to love "Bimbo" for that cute elephant on top of the wrapper. Later, I was told that their bread bakery at Mahim was closed down during riots. I don't know if they have re-opened it or not. Anyways, in Mumbai, when made Sandwich at home, I used to insist on Bimbo that time. Probably, today I will surely insist on wheat bread as it is healthier. but Bimbo is associated with my childhood.

Alrighty then, here's my version now.

Mumbai Street Sandwich
2 slices or as many as you want white bread (I used wheat bread here!)
1 recipe sandwich chutney
Amul butter
Cucumber slices, peeled & thinly sliced
Tomato slices, thinly sliced
Boiled potato slices, peeled & thinly sliced
Boiled beetroot slices, peeled & thinly sliced
Red onion slices (optional), peeled & thinly sliced
A generous pinch of sandwich masala or chaat amsala

1. Spread Amul butter generously on the slices of bread.
2. Spread sandwich chutney generously on top.
3. Layer cucumber slices, tomato slices, potato slices & STOP!
4. Now, on potatoes, sprinkle sandwich masala or chaat masala.
5. Now continue layering with beetroot and onions - if using.
6. Add another slice on top.
7. Cut the sandwich diagonally to make 4 equilateral triangles or cut into 4 - 6 pieces of squares
8. Drizzle some tomato ketchup on top.

Note -
1. If desired, remove the crusts of the bread before making slices.
2. Instead of sandwich masala or chaat masala, you can also use salt and black pepper powder.
3. There is a masala called sandwich masala available in the shops of Mumbai.
4. This sandwich can also be made using low cal butter spread of your choice but Amul butter adds the real taste. (utterly, butterly delicious, Amul!)
5. Use white sandwich bread for authentic taste.

This post is my contribution to Aqua Daze's RCI - Mumbai Street Food.
RCI event is started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.

Sandwich Chutney

Sandwich Chutney
2 cups cilantro/coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves,
1/2 small onion/shallot, chopped (optional)
1" ginger, peeled & chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
salt to taste
sugar to taste
1 key lime, squeezed

1. Rinse all the vegetables.
2. Grind together.
3. Refrigerate till ready to use.

Note -
1. If the cilantro stems are fresh, you can use them as well.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day with Eggless Mawa Cake

We had many guests in December. December being a party month, I got a lot of opportunity to tinker with egg less version of our favorite cakes. I had already blogged about my semi-homemade version of "Mawa Cake" using Betty Crocker Cake mix. This time, I made semi-homemade version of Mawa cake using Betty Crocker Cake Mix, without using eggs. Let me warn you that, just because it has no eggs, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a low fat option as I had to use fresh cream. :-D

Sharing my dad's favorite mawa cake while celebrating father's day today. BTW, which mawa cake do you prefer? Merwan's or Kayani's or Manhar Surat's?

Happy Father's Day to my Dad & Gudiya's Dad and to all the wonderful dads around the world.

Eggless Mawa Cake
1 packet French Vanilla Cake Mix
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup + 1/4 cup whole milk
4 cardamoms, crushed
2 tbsp doodh masala

0. Preheat oven 350 F
1. Mix all the ingredients together. First use 3/4 cup whole milk and then use the remaining 1/4 cup milk a spoonful at a time to get the right consistency.
2. Grease the muffin pan generously.
3. Pour the batter.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center of the baked cake comes out clean.

Note -
1. I used Betty Crocker brand. Any other brand should work well too.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spicy Daal Chaat

If you are thinking that this is some healthy daily daal recipe, then here's the surprise. It's not!
:-D It's just a Mumbai street food that my husband loves. It starts with ready made & deep fried chana daal, generally available in the local farsan marts. Daalwala bhaiyya used to chop those onions so finely that you couldn't really make out if it's onion or radish. Many doubted it was radish especially when onions prices had soared to the roof tops!:-D Anyways, it tasted great.

Daal Chaat
Spicy Fried Daal Salad
1 small onion, minced
1-2 green chilies, minced (or per taste)
A pinch of chaat masala
1 tbsp minced cilantro/coriander leaves
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1. Mix all the ingredients in the order mentioned.
2. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. Do not make this chaat too much in advance. It will turn soggy.

This post is my contribution to Aqua Daze's RCI - Mumbai Street Food.
RCI event is started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.

This post is also my contribution to Priya's Sunday Snacks - Spill the beans event.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chawlichi Koshimbeer - Yardlong beans salad

Yard long beans or chawlichya shenga - as we call in Marathi, are really long. Well, I discovered their length here in US. because the Indian yard long beans were probably lighter shade of green and shorter compared to those available in the oriental stores here. Mom makes stir fry adding kala vatana, upkari and this salad which is the one I love the most.

Chawlichi Koshimbeer
Yard long beans salad


2 cups yard long beans, cut, steamed
1 cup moth/muth/matki sprouts, steamed
2 tbsp roasted peanuts powder
salt to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice (or per taste)
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp coconut (optional)

1 tsp oil
1-2 green chilies, slit

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1. Steam chopped yard long beans and moth sprouts.
2. Let them cool down completely.
3. Mix all the ingredients except those for tempering.
4. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds, chilies. Drizzle the tempered oil over the salad. Mix gently without breaking the sprouts.
5. Serve immediately or refrigerate and then serve.

Note -
1. Instead of moth beans/matki, moong beans can also be used.
2. You can steam the vegetables and sprouts in the pressure cooker. Just make sure they do not turn too mushy.
3. The yard long beans should be very fresh for this salad.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

PoddaLe Sanna PoLo - snakegourd seeds pancake

As I said in the previous post, if padwal is made at home, "PoddaLe SannapoLo" has to follow. so here it is! :-D

PoddaLe SannapoLo
Snake gourd seeds pancake
1/2 cup snake gourd seeds
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tsp chili powder (it is meant to be spicy and red hot!)
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

oil for roasting

1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Knead it to a dough using the moisture from the seeds.
3. Add little water - spoonful at a time, if needed to bind the dough.
4. Make 2 balls of dough and pat on a hot griddle or pan.
5. Make holes and add oil for roasting.
6. Flip and let brown spots appear on both sides.

Note -
1. Though this is a pancake, it is not meant to be eaten as a snack or breakfast item. It is traditionally eaten as an accompaniment along with plain rice(sheeth) and daali tauy.
2. For more flavor, use coconut oil or combination of coconut oil and regular oil for roasting.

Padwal-DaLimbi - Snakegourd Subzi

Growing up, snake gourd or padwaL definitely did not fall in my "favorites" category. The only reason I tolerated it was that the seeds were used to make delicious PoddaaLe sannapoLo. But I do not see snake gourds that often here. So when I spotted it at our Indian stores, I was actually happy. and when I made simple subzi - my mom's way, I discovered that I actually liked it.

PadwaL - DaLimbi
Snakegourd - Field beans subzi
2 cup chopped snakegourd/padwaL
1/2 cup kadu vaal sprouts/field beans
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 - 2 green chilies, slit (or per taste)

1 tbsp fresh coconut (more the merrier!)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai.
2. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. Add beans sprouts and saute for 2 minutes without letting the sprouts to break.
4. Now add chopped snake gourds. Saute for 1 minute. Add 2 tbsp water.
5. Cover the kadai with a lid on top. Keep some water on the lid. and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes till the gourds are cooked.
6. Add salt to taste. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Mix freshly scraped coconut with freshly ground black pepper by hand and add to the subzi.

Note -
1. More coconut up to 1/4 cup will make this subzi tastier. However I have reduced the amount substantially.
2. Do not use dry coconut.
3. Instead of field beans, chana daal soaked in water for 2-3 hours can also be used in the above recipe.
4. Do not confuse the word "DaLimbi" (meaning field beans/vaal) with "DaLimb" (meaning pomegranate).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

VayangaNa Sagalayn - Eggplant Curry

Traditionally, the curry with the name "SagaLayn" is meant to be for the whole, stuffed vegetables. My grandmother made Bhenda (okra) SagaaLayn and VayangaNa (small eggplants)SagaLayn. But for the reason unknown to me, she always sliced eggplants instead of keeping them whole and hence, I did the same here. For the more traditional method, keep the eggplants whole and stuff the "masala" inside.

VayangaNa SagaLayn
Eggplant Curry
5 purple eggplants, sliced
3 small potatoes, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaf

Grind to a coarse paste -
1 tbsp coriander seeds, roast
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds, roast
5 byadgi chilies, roast
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1/2 tbsp tamarind pulp

1 tsp coconut oil or any other oil of choice
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

Suggested Accompaniements
Plain Rice

1. In a saucepan, add both the vegetables, water, turmeric powder and curry leaves sprig. Let it simmer till the veggies are cooked. Add more water if all the water is evaporated.
2. Grind the masala to a coarse paste per directions.
3. Add masala to the veggies. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil. Add salt.Let it simmer.
4. In a small saucepan, add coconut oil or any other oil of choice. Add the ingredients for tempering.
5. As they splutter, add that sizzling oil to the curry. Cover with the lid immediately to trap the flavor and switch off the gas.
6. Serve with plain rice or chapati.

Note -
1. The consistency of this curry should be medium i.e. not too thick/dry and not too thin.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tomato Chutney

We were at Borders the other day. Gudiya had a story time with other kids. While they were having fun, I browsed through the books that were lying around, and Padma Lakshmi's "Tangy Tart Hot Sweet" caught my attention. I browsed through it and found some interesting recipes, photos and memoirs. Her recipe of Tomato chutney really inspired me to try out immediately. I changed my proportions a bit to suit our taste. I served this chutney with Uma's delicious Cilantro Dosa.

Tomato Chutney
Inspired by "Tangy, Tart, Hot , Sweet" by Padma Lakshmi

Grind to paste -

1 lb tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tsp tamarind pulp

5 kashmiri chilies

Roast & powder -

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp urad daal

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds


2 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 sprigs curry leaves, torn


1 tsp jaggery (optional)

salt to taste


1. Heat sesame oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.

2. As they sizzle, add ground tomato mixture and roasted spices. Saute for about 20 minutes or so on a medium flame.

3. Add salt and jaggery - if using. Simmer for 5 minutes till the chutney reaches thick consistency.

Note -

1. Keep the unused portion in the refrigerator. Use within a week.


Tangy, Tart, Hot, Sweet by Padma Lakshmi

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rasawala Mag

I think among all the beans and sprouts, we love mung beans the most. When my MIL had come, she made this delicious curry for us. Many of my friends get surprised to see the use of kokum in Gujarati cooking. But actually, kokum is used in Gujarati - at least South Gujarati - at least in my Gujarati side of family. :-D

Rasawala Mag
Mung beans Curry
2 cups mung sprouts
3-4 kokums, rinsed
1 tbsp jaggery
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder or Gujarati Garam masala

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste

2 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped

Suggested Accompaniment
Chokha na Rotla

1. Pressure cook mung beans/sprouts. Keep aside to cool down.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Saute all the ingredients for tempering.
3. Add cooked mung beans, coriander cumin seed powder or Gujarati garam masala, jaggery, kokum and 1 1/2 cups water.
4. Bring to boil. Add salt.
5. Let it simmer for 10 - 12 minutes.

Note -
1. Soaked mung beans (without sprouts) can be used for this curry. However, I prefer sprouted mung beans.
2. Let the pressure cooked mung beans cool down before tempering. Otherwise they will break easily while stirring. - MIL's tip.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Curry Leaves Plant - Part 2

My curry leaves plant is about 3 years old. It was really tiny when I bought it from our local Indian stores. Since it was spring, I placed it outside thinking it will enjoy the tropical weather. But it protested by wilting all the leaves. I was so scared, I got it back home where it grew taller and taller. OK, my curry leaf doesn't like tropical weather, I thought.

By spring 2009, I thought my plant is mature enough to enjoy the warm spring weather. I placed it outside. It didn't show any sign of stress. So I was happy. Then we were away for a day. When I came back, it was a horror site! It had only 4-5 leaves remaining. They too were dropping in front of my eyes. All the leaves were falling off as if it was fall not spring. I cursed myself. I officially killed my own curry leaf plant, I thought. I was in tears.

By next morning, my tall and lanky plant stood in its pot without a single branch. I felt so guilty. I talked to it, caressed it - oh well - I know I am crazy. Looking back I think, I should have taken a picture, but I was not in a mood to take a picture of my beloved plant without a single branch or a leaf. But I continued watering it. and in about 2 weeks, there was a sign of life again. Small branches started erupting one after the other - as if something miraculous was happening. I just couldn't believe this sudden growth spurt. I also noticed a tiny baby plant in the soil. Another week went by and then my curry plant blossomed with buds.

Now, the most important thing. I need to re-pot my curry leaf plant as it has overgrown its pot with its new growing family. It's getting really taller and taller day by day. I have re-potted it once as the Indian stores pot was very tiny. But now it needs something even bigger. Hope it likes its new house when I decide to re-pot. I really don't know. Frankly, I am scared to re-pot it as it will again rebel. Well, we will see...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kunda from Belgaum

If you visit certain places, you have to buy certain things to claim that you indeed have visited those places. If you go to Khambat, better get that halwasan, if you go to Agra, you need to buy Petha, if you go to Dharwad, do not forget about those Dharwadi pedhas, and if you go to Belgaum, you better get Kunda. Kunda is a milk based Mithai from Belgaum. The above picture is that Kunda right from Belgaum. I didn't make it. So the recipe is just my guess.

Keep roasting khoya/khava/mava till deep brown. Add sugar to taste. That's just my guess!! :-D

Chaitali has shared her mom's recipe for Kunda. In her words, "...She boils khoya, whole milk and cardamom toghether for a couple of hours till it becomes semi solid and looks grainy. This way it has a better taste and texture...". Thanks, Chaitali!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Daal Tadka

Once all of us friends were devouring "Daal Tadka" at a restaurant in Mumbai and trying to guess the ingredients, our friend, Sanjeev boasted that he could make very decent Daal Tadka himeself. We doubted his proclaimation, but he shared his recipe. Though I still had doubts in my mind, I wrote it down anyways. I tried it several years later and it turned out great every single time.

Daal Tadka
Tempered Daal
1/4 cup Toor daal
1/4 cup masoor daal
2 Tbsp masoor sprouts
2 Tbsp moong sprouts
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

1/4 tsp garam masala
salt to taste

1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
1 tsp oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves
1/2 tsp kasoori methi, crushed

Suggested Accompaniement
Plain Rice
or Jeera Rice
or Paratha

1. All daals and sprouts approximately measure up to 3/4 cup. Add double amount of water, asafoetida, turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste. Pressure cook & set aside.
2. Heat oil & ghee in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute till onion are golden and tomatoes are mushy.
3. Add cooked daal mixture and 1/4 cup water. This daal should be on the thicker side.
4. Add salt & bring to boil.
5. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot garnished with more ghee if desired.

Note -
This daal is made with lots of ghee. However I tried to cut down by adding ghee and oil.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kolhapuri Hirwa Thecha

I am almost certain that as soon as I blog about this recipe, I will get emails saying how this is not the authentic way of making Kolhapuri thecha. But you know what, I have tasted it at my Kolhapuri friend's home and she has shared the recipe along with the variations, that I've mentioned below. Rather than going into a war of "Authentic" or "Not", how about tasting and feasting on some delicacies and variations from home to home? :-D

Kolhapuri Hirwa Thecha
Kolhapuri Green Chili Chutney
5 Jalapenos or more, each chopped into 2-3 pieces
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt or per taste
1 tsp oil

1. Heat oil. Add jalapenos. Roast till brown spots appear from all around. Remove & set aside.
2. Lightly roast garlic cloves till they are lightly browned.
3. Grind to a very coarse paste with the remaining ingredients without adding any water.
4. Serve with bhakri.

Note -
1. Traditionally, this thecha is made in stone or iron mortal and pestle. I used Sumeet Heavy Duty grinder. It should be even more coarse or granular than the picture above!
2. The seeds and veins of the chilies are not discarded as this thecha is meant to be hot. You can discard them if you do not like it too hot.
3. If desired, 1 small onion can be added. In that case, slice and roast the onion after chilies are roasted and then follow the next steps. The addition of onion will reduce the spice level.
4. While serving with bhakri, you can add some plain yogurt to reduce the spice level.
5. You can use any green spicy chilies for this recipe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Masala Stuffed Eggs

Though my grandmother never touched or ate eggs, her next generation definitely tweaked her recipes and made some crowd-pleasing curries. :-D

Masala Bharleli Andi - Serves 6
Masala Stuffed Eggs
6 Hard Boiled Eggs, peeled, make slits around
6 baby potatoes, cooked & peeled, make slits around
2 small tomatoes, chopped

2 tsp oil
1 small onion, finely chopped

Grind to a fine paste
1/4 cup Dessicated Coconut *
1 Onion, roughly chopped *
3 cloves garlic *
2 Green Chilies or per taste
1/2" ginger
1/2 tsp Chili powder or per taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp kitchen king masala(or per taste)
2 tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped

1 tsp oil*
(*Note - using 1 tsp oil, brown onion & garlic. And also brown coconut and then grind with the remaining items)

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Suggested Accompaniments
Rumali Roti
Brown Rice
Lemon Wedges

0. Boil eggs and potatoes together. Peel and give slits around as shown above.
1. Heat 1 tsp oil. Brown one roughly chopped onion & garlic. Set aside. Without adding any more oil, roast coconut till it is evenly browned.
2. Grind green chilies, chili powder, turmeric powder, roasted onion, garlic & coconut, salt, coriander leaves, kitchen king masala, ginger to a smooth paste
3. Make 4-5 slits on the hard boiled eggs.
4. Stuff the masala inside the slits of eggs, potatoes carefully- as much as you can, without breaking the eggs.
5. Heat oil. Add finely chopped onion. As it gets soft, saute tomatoes for 1 minute. Now, add stuffed eggs, potatoes and the remaining masala.
6. Let it cook for a while. Add water if needed.
7. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top.

1. If you do not want to include yolks in this recipe, just cut the eggs into halves, discard the yolk and proceed.
2. Based on how you want to serve this curry, you can make it very dry or add water and make a gravy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bell Peppers Pullao

Bell Peppers is one of Gudiya's favorite vegetables. So no wonder it appears in my kitchen weekly. One busy Saturday morning, as I was thinking of what to make for lunch, I decided to make bell pepper pullao. For some protein, I decided to add some black beans.

Bell Peppers Pullao
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed & drained
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, cut into strips or chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, cut into strips or chopped
1 orange bell pepper, cored, cut into strips or chopped
1 small onion, sliced
1 tomato chopped

1 tbsp pullao masala (or per taste)
1 (15 oz) can of black beans (I used organic, whole foods brand), rinsed & drained
2 cups water
salt to taste
1 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker or handi.
2. Add bay leaf & onion. Saute for 5 minutes.
3. Add turmeric powder and tomato. Saute for 1 minute.
4. Add bell pepper strips. Saute for 5 minutes.
5. Now add drained basmati rice, pullao masala. Fry without letting rice grains to break.
6. Add rinsed black beans, tomato ketchup, water, salt to taste.
7. When it comes to boil, reduce the flame to medium.
8. Close the lid. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles. Let the pressure drop of its own.

Note -
1. If using canned black beans, make sure to rinse & drain the beans thoroughly.

This post is my contribution to AFAM - Bell Peppers at Priya's Easy N Tasty


AFAM event is started by Maheshwari of Beyond the Usual.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pulao Masala

This is my grandmother's recipe for pulao masala. Depending on my whim, I grind it coarsely or finely. Both works just right for any pullao.

Pulao Masala
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp shahjire
2" cinnamon
4-5 cloves
5 green cardamoms
5-6 black peppercorns

1. Roast all the spices on a low flame without adding any oil, for a minute.
2. Grind in a spice grinder coarsely or finely.
3. Store in an airtight container.

Note -
1. This recipe does not yield in a huge batch.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

AwaLyache LoNache - Gooseberry Pickle

The second recipe of the gooseberries was this delicious pickle. I referred to my favorite book "Ruchira" by late Mrs. Kamalabai Ogale. The quantity mentioned in the book was quite big so I changed it to suit our palette. We loved it.

AwaLyache LoNache
Gooseberry Pickle
1 cup gooseberries/AwLa

Grind to a coarse paste
1 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp jaggery
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt

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

1. Remove the stems of the gooseberries. Rinse and completely dry them.
2. Add ground masala paste to the berries. Mix well to adjust the consistency of the pickle.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add asafoetida and turmeric powder. As they sizzle, switch off the gas. Let this oil cool off completely.
4. Add cooled oil to the pickle and stir well.
5. Store in a ceramic or glass container in a refrigerator.

1. Since the American gooseberries were tiny, I left them whole. "Ruchira" recommends shredding/grating/chopping the berries after removing the seeds.
2. This pickle must be used within 2 weeks.

Ruchira by Late Mrs. Kamalabai Ogale

Friday, June 5, 2009

Atte Ka Halwa

My grandmother used to make this "halwa" at least once during the monsoons. So whenever it rains, I always remember this halwa and I get a huge craving for it. This halwa - the way my grandmother used to make it, needs a lot of patience. You need to keep stirring till the wheat flour is well roasted on a low flame and is nicely browned but not burnt. It probably used to take more than an hour for roasting that way. We used to call it "Gavhachya Peethacha Sheera" or "Gonvva Peetta shiro". Recently, a friend mentioned that it is a Jain recipe which is eaten during the holy paryushan time.

Atte Ka Halwa/Gavhacha Pithacha Sheera
Wheat Flour Porridge
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup ghee or oil
3-4 cardamoms, peeled, crushed

1. Heat oil or ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan or kadai/wok.
2. Pour wheat flour. Saute on a very low flame.
3. You will start getting a roasted aroma of wheat flour. Saute till the wheat flour becomes dark brown. It may take up to an hour.
4. Heat 2 cups water. Add sugar and let it dissolve completely.
5. White still stirring with a spoon, pour sugar-water gingerly in the wok.
6. Keep stirring till the water is evaporated and a porridge consistency is reached.
7. Stir in cardamom powder.

Note -
1. I once used oil instead of ghee and was satisfied with the result. But for the original sinfully rich taste, use ghee or clarified butter. Also if using oil, use odor free oil like canola.
2. If you use oil, it becomes a vegan recipe.

This post is my contribution to RCI - Jain Cuisine at Padmaja's Seduce your Tastebuds.
RCI event is started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Uperpendi - All Wheat Upma

My grandmother made Uperpendi with all the possible wheat ingredients. It contained whole wheat flour, wheat bran and broken wheat. I didn't realize then how healthy this upma was. I get wheat bran at the supermarket here. So this full of fiber upma is very easy to make.

All Wheat Upma
1/4 cup broken wheat/bulgur wheat/daliya
1/4 cup bran
1/4 cup coarse wheat flour
1 cup sour buttermilk
salt to taste

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 curry leaves, torn
1-2 green chilies, slit

1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp fresh coconut
Suggested Accompaniment
Green chili pickle

1. Heat oil in a kadai or wok. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As they sizzle, add broken wheat, bran and coarse wheat flour.
3. Roast for 10 minutes on the medium heat taking care not to burn it.
4. Add salt to taste.
5. Now switch the gas to low. Pour the buttermilk. Keep on stirring till a porridge like consistency is reached.
6. Switch off the gas. Cover and keep covered for 5 minutes.
7. Garnish with cilantro and coconut.

Note -
1. Wheat bran is readily available in the supermarket.
2. Sour buttermilk imparts sourish taste to this upma. If the buttermilk is not sour enough, serve with some lemon wedges.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hibiscus Lemonade

Sometime back, I saw Hibiscus cocktail at Happy Cook's place. I wondered how it must have tasted. I never knew that hibiscus was edible. I couldn't find it anywhere. But while shopping at Whole Foods, I came across Hibiscus Sorbet. I bought it out of curiosity. However, we found it too sugary. So I wanted to dilute it a bit. Thus, Hibiscus lemonade was born.

Hibiscus Lemonade
2 cups Hibiscus Sorbet
1/4 tsp salt
1 key lime, freshly squeezed
1/2" ginger, grated and squeezed to get the juice
3 cups chilled water


1. Thaw the sorbet so it is easier to mix. But do not thaw completely.

2. Add in the remaining ingredients.

3. Serve chilled.


1. I found hibiscus Sorbet at the Whole Foods - frozen section.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kirla Chakko

During monsoon, one starts seeing kirlu (Konkani), vasota (Marathi/Malvani) or bamboo shoots in the markets of Mumbai. Unfortunately, I never paid attention to how my grandmothers skillfully cleaned and chopped this delicious vegetable (?). But here, you readily get bamboo shoots in the supermarkets. It came handy when I craved for some chakko.

Kirla Chakko
Bamboo Shoots South Canara Style
2 cans of bamboo shoots, diced to about 2 cups
1 medium potato, peeled and diced to 1 cup
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
1/2 cup water

Salt to taste
1 tbsp jaggery

Grind to a coarse paste
3/4 cup fresh coconut
5 byadgi chilies *
1 tbsp coriander seeds *
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds *
1 tsp urad daal *
1 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
(The ingredients with * must be roasted before grinding with coconut and tamarind)

1 tsp coconut oil
1 curry leaves, torn
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida

1. Add bamboo shoots, potatoes, curry leaves, turmeric powder and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low and let it cook till both bamboo and potatoes are cooked. Add more water if needed.
2. Grind the masala by roasting the spices and chilies. Make a coarse paste adding a little water as needed.
3. Add the ground masala to the cooked bamboo and potatoes mixture.
4. Add salt and jaggery.
5. Let the mixture cookon a low flame till it becomes dry.
6. Heat a small saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
7. Add the sizzling oil to the curry. Switch off the gas and cover with the lid immediately.

Note -
1. Since we are not using fresh bamboo shoots, soak the bamboo shoots from the can for 3-4 hours before using them to remove the "can" taste of the veggies.

Monday, June 1, 2009



AwLyache Panhe - Gooseberry Punch

When winter gets over and my favorite season, spring starts, I look forward to the opening of our local farmers market. I can't wait to see what the local farmers have got. During our last visit, most of the stalls had plants and herbs. There were few vegetables and fruits. Summer crops like corn and watermelons were nowhere to be seen. But I spotted some fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, kohlrabi, radishes, spring onions, asparagus. and I almost came to standstill at one stall. Could they be...? Those berries looked familiar. They were much smaller though. I asked the farmer lady and she said,"They are gooseberries".
"Are they sour?" - I asked her.
"Very sour. You will need to pucker up your mouth when you eat them!" she replied smiling. Bingo!! I knew they are or at least belong to the same family of AwaLa/Amla - Indian Gooseberries. Needless to say, I hurriedly took one small basket which had 3 cups fresh gooseberries.

After coming home, I consulted mom on the phone and the first recipe followed - AwLyache Panhe.

Awlyache Panhe
Gooseberry Punch
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar or jaggery or per taste
1/4 tsp salt
5 cardamoms

2 cups chilled water

1. Remove the stems of the berries.
2. Rinse them thoroughly.
3. Boil them with 1 cup water for about 10 minutes. (if using regular big amlas from India, you can pressure cook them and then remove the pits)
4. Switch off the gas. Cover and let it cool down to the room temperature.
5. Grind the cooked berries with salt, cardamoms, sugar or jaggery and cooked liquid.
6. Add more water. Stir well.
7. Pour in individual serving glasses. Serve chilled.

Note -
1. When you mix the chilled water, you will notice some foam. You can get rid of it. I kept it because it reminded me of sugarcane juice!
2. Saffron strands can be added but I wanted to keep that lovely color of amla/awLa. So I didn't.
3. As seen in the picture below, these American gooseberries were very tiny. and they were almost seedless or had itsy-bitsy seeds. I ground them with the berries. If needed you can strain the juice. I didn't bother. If using bigger berries, remove the seeds.
4. The most boring part of this punch was getting rid of the tiny stems of the berries. but make sure they are completely stem free before cooking.
5. You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar or jaggery based on your preference and tartness of the berries. However, a little sour taste is expected in this panhe.


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