April 23, 2011

Kokam Sarbat / Mangosteen Sharbat

With the mercury levels rising here, I felt the need for kokam (mangosteen) sarbat (sharbat). Back in India we always buy a sarbat concentrate from supermarket and sarbat is at our tips instantly whenever we want. I decided to experiment kokam sarbat on my own over here. The result was an authentic and ideal drink for the summer.

Kokam Sarbat 010

For Kokam concentrate
20g amsul / mangosteen
1/2 glass water

For sarbat
1 glass cold water
2 tsp. sugar (or as per taste)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch chaat masala

  1. Soak the 20g in water for about 30-45 minutes.  Scramble the amsul with hand and strain out the concentrate.
  2. Take 2 tbsp. of concentrate in a serving glass, add sugar, salt and chaat masala. Add enough water to fill the glass and mix well.
  3. Kokam sarbat is ready to serve. Add ice if you want it extra cool.
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March 22, 2011

Chakolya/Varan Fal (Indian Pasta)

Chakolya is one of the comfort foods in Maharashtrian families. Its easy to make, tastes good, made up of whole wheat and requires less oil. So its an overall a healthy and tasty combo :)

Chakolya 007




For Amti (Sauce):

1/2 cup toor Dal (Pigeon Pea/Pulses)

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. asafoetida

1 tsp. turmeric powder

2 tbsp. roasted desiccated coconut

2 tsp. or to taste red chilli powder

1 tsp. or to taste Goda Masala

2 tsp. tamarind juice (or to taste)

1 tbsp. jaggery

Salt to taste

1 tbsp. oil for tempering


For Chakolya Dough (Pasta strips):

1/2 cup Wheat flour (Chapatti atta)

pinch of salt

1 tsp. oil for kneading

Water for kneading


Serving suggestions:

Coriander leaves finely chopped

Dollop of homemade ghee (toop)



  1. Prepare the chakolya dough – knead the wheat flour along with salt, oil and water with consistency similar to Chapatti dough. Keep it aside covered for 30 min.
  2. Till then, cook the toor dal (with water) in pressure cooker giving 3-4 whistles and then 10 min on low flame. Whisk it thoroughly with ravi or beater into a uniform mixture.
  3. Heat oil in a cooking pot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. As both seeds crack up add asafoetida and turmeric powder.
  4. Now add the cooked dal, remaining seasoning – chilli powder, goda masala, salt, jaggery, desiccated coconut and tamarind juice.
  5. Mix well and add a cup (or more) of water to reduce the consistency. (Don't worry, consistency thicken in the end) Bring it to boil.
  6. Divide the dough in to 2-3 equal portions, dust with some flour and roll each portion not very thin round (up to 3-4 mm thickness ). Cut it into 1x1 inches diamonds or squares.
  7. Slide all squares/diamonds into the boiling amti. Let it cook for next 8-9 min. Keep stirring in between to avoid sticking to bottom.
  8. Serve hot with coriander leaves and dollop of homemade ghee.


Tip: To reduce toor dal cooking time, soak it for 30 min before cooking. This makes daal soft and cooks faster

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February 20, 2011

Daliya Upma (Cracked Wheat Upma)

Cracked wheat or Daliya is a wheat product made from whole raw wheat kernels. It is easily available in any Indian grocery stores and makes a healthy dietary option. Apart from Upma, Daliya contributes to many interesting recipes like Daliya pudding, salad, lapshi or even Daliya khichadi. Daliya Upma is the simplest recipe of all these and tastes awesome.


Daliya Upma 001



(Serves 2)

1 cup cracked wheat (daliya)
1/2 cup mix veg (peas, finely chopped carrots, broccoli, etc.)
2 finely green chillies
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
salt to taste
2 cups water (twice the quantity of daliya)


For tempering:
2 tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder


For Garnishing:
Finely chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
grated coconut (optional)



  1. Roast daliya in wok on slow flame for 3 minutes till colour changes to light brown. Remove from wok and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and all ingredients under tempering. Once tempering starts spluttering, add green chillies. Fry them till colour changes.
  3. Then add chopped onions and sauté it till golden brown.
  4. Now add the roasted daliya and mix vegetables. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the flame.
  5. Transfer the mixture to pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water and salt to taste.
  6. Pressure cook it unto 3 whistles and let the cooker cool down.
  7. Before serving upma, garnish it with lemon juice, coriander leaves and freshly grated coconut.


This goes to 'Flavours Of Maharashtra' event hosted by Seduceyourtastebuds.


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February 13, 2011

Aluchi Vadi/Paatra (अळूची वडी)

Aluchi Vadi also known as Paatra is a popular dish in Maharashtra & Gujarat. It is made from Colocasia leaves. Apart from making Vadi, Alu is also used in making curry (Aluchi Bhaaji). But Aluchi Vadi is my favourite one. I have myself tried it for the first time and turned out really tasty. What a tea time snack!


Aluchi Vadi 004



6 Alu/Colocasia leaves


For coating:

1 cup Chickpea flour (Besan)

1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste

2 tbsp. tamarind pulp

1 tbsp. grated jaggery

1 tsp. cumin powder

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. red chilli powder

1 pinch asafoetida

1 tsp. turmeric

1 pinch sodium bi-carbonate

1 tsp. ajwain/ova (optional)

Salt to taste

Water to requirement


For frying:

Vegetable oil for deep frying



  1. Wash the colocasia leaves and chop off the stems. The stems produce some juice which may cause throat irritation in some cases. To counter this effect, cut off the steams and coat the leaves with half of tamarind pulp and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Till then, prepare the coating. Mix all ingredients given under coating (except water). Mix well, add water bit by bit to make the coating ‘spreadable’.
  3. Take a leaf, keep it upside down. Generously apply the coating on to it. Keep another leaf over it covering it half way. Again apply the coating over it.
  4. Once both leaves are fully coated, start rolling from one end towards the other. Repeat the process for other two pair of leaves.
  5. At this step, you will have 3 rolls. Steam them in a pressure pan (without whistle) for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let it cool down.
  6. Cut the rolls into equal sized pieces and deep fry them oil. Serve hot with tea.


This goes to 'Flavours Of Maharashtra' event hosted by Seduceyourtastebuds.

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February 12, 2011

Laal Bhoplyachi Bhaaji (Red Pumpkin Curry)

This bhaaji is one of my favourite ones. Red pumpkin cooked along with sesame, peanuts, tamarind and jaggery makes really chat-pata (tangy). This is one of the comfort foods for most of the Maharashtrians.



1/2 red pumpkin
1/4 cup roasted desiccated coconut
1 tbsp. roasted sesame powder (तील कूट)
1 tsp. roasted peanut powder (दाण्याचा कूट)
1 tsp. maharashtrian goda masala
2 tsp. red chilli powder
1/2 tsp. tamarind pulp
salt to taste
1 tsp. jaggery


Lal Bhopla Bhaji 004

For tempering:
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds (methya)
4-5 curry leaves
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
1 tsp. turmeric powder
3 tbsp. oil


For garnishing:
Coriander finely chopped



  1. Scrape out the hard skin of pumpkin and cut into slices (kachrya). Keep immersed into water for 5 min.
  2. Heat oil in a wok. Add all ingredients under tempering one by one in a sequence. First add mustard and fenugreek seeds. As they pop up add curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
  3. Then add chopped pumpkin (drain out the water) and stir well. Sprinkle few drops of water and cook covered until just cooked (about 7-8 minutes).
  4. Then add all flavourings - desiccated coconut, sesame and peanuts powder, red chilli powder, goda masala, salt jaggery and mix well.
  5. If mixture is too dry, sprinkle few drops of water and keep covered for 2 minutes.
  6. Bring it off flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with chapati or bhakri.


This goes to 'Flavours Of Maharashtra' event hosted by Seduceyourtastebuds.

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February 1, 2011

Char Grilled Tomato & Cream Salad

I like tomato in all forms, be it in curries or pizza or even Panini pesto. Recently I did this experiment - chargrilling tomatoes and serve it as a salad. It came out very well, the taste of all herbs together blended nicely with chargrilled tomatoes. This is a must have item in a get together. Try it out all tomato lovers.
Tomato Salad 002
2 medium sized vine tomatoes
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tsp. red chilli flakes
1 tsp. black pepper powder
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary finely chopped
1 tsp. parsley finely chopped
1 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh cream (optional)

  1. Chop tomatoes into wedges. In a flat glass bowl, add 2 tsp. olive oil, chopped garlic and green chilli, vinegar, red chilli flakes, black pepper, little salt.
  2. Mix well and to this add chopped tomatoes. Gently toss it so that tomatoes get covered with dressing.
  3. Keep the dressing glass bowl untouched for 15 minutes so that flavours blend well in tomato.
  4. Heat a chargrill pan or metal tawa on medium heat. Transfer the marinated tomatoes along with dressing.
  5. Cook for 4 minutes or until tomatoes are just tender. Keep turning tomatoes gently with tongs.
  6. Bring it off flame and at this point, drizzle the finely chopped parsley, rosemary, oregano.
  7. Transfer it to the serving dish and garnish with a blob of fresh cream.
  8. Serve as a side dish with any Italian cuisine.
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January 13, 2011

Tilgul – Makar Sankrant special

I have been away from blogging since a long time and I felt Makar Sankranti (मकर संक्रान्ति)is the best occasion to make a come back. Sankranti is the Sanskrit word, which refers to the transmigration of the Sun from one Rāshi(zodiac in Indian astrology) to the other. Maharashtrians celebrate Sankranti by exchanging Tilgul – a sweet made of sesame seeds and jaggery. While exchanging tilguls as tokens of goodwill people greet each other saying – ‘til-gul ghya, god god bola’ meaning ‘accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’. The under-lying thought in the exchange of tilguls is to forget the past ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends.

Sankranti 011

2 cups roasted sesame seeds
1 cup roasted peanuts powder
1½ cups jaggery
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tsp ghee (toop)
2-4 tsp desiccated coconut (optional)

  1. Take a microwave safe bowl, add jaggery and 2 tsp ghee to it. Spray some water over it and microwave for 2 minutes on high power.
  2. You will notice that jaggery liquefies and starts bubbling. Now add remaining ingredients – sesame seeds, peanuts powder, nutmeg powder and cardamom powder.
  3. Mix well to form homogeneous ball. Transfer the ball over a greased platform or even aluminium foil.
  4. Roll it into desired thickness, press some desiccated coconut over it and cut it into square or diamond shape using a pizza cutter.
  5. Give it 5-10 minutes to cool down. Enjoy – तीळ गुळ घ्या आणि गोड गोड बोला (‘accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’)
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October 7, 2010

Falafel burger

I got to know about this recipe from BBC Good food. Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern fast food. It is usually served stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes and tahini. Instead of serving in a pita bread, I used normal buns and nstead of deep-frying, I preferred shallow frying on a griddle. BBC Good food correctly says ‘These are great for anyone who craves a big bite but doesn't want the calories’.

Burger and Tawa Pulav 003

For Patties
1 tin chickpeas (or chole soaked over night and pressure cooked)
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin powder
Coriander chopped
2 tbsp plain flour (maida)
Salt to taste
Oil for frying patties

For Burger
4 Buns
Tomato sliced
Lettuce leaves
Tomato ketchup

  1. Pat the chickpeas dry with kitchen paper.
  2. Take all ingredients except flour and oil in a food processor. Blend it to a smooth paste.
  3. Now add flour to it and mix well. Divide it into four portions and shape each portion into round patty.
  4. Heat a griddle, add little oil and roast patties from both sides.
  5. Serve the patties inside bun along with sliced tomatoes, lettuce leaves and tomato ketchup.
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September 29, 2010

Banana Paratha (Sweet)

I offered this sweet paratha to bappa on yesterday's chaturthi. Banana flavoured with cardomom powder stuffed inside a paratha, made a different combination all together.

Banana Paratha 001
Makes 2 parathas

For Stuffing:
1 ripe banana
1 tsp cardomom powder
2 tbsp condensed milk

For paratha:
Chapati dough

Home made ghee (toop)

1. Chop ripe banana to small pieces.
2. Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan, add banana pieces, condensed milk and mix well on low flame.
3. Cover the pan and let bananas cook in condensed milk for 2 minutes. Keep stirring in between to avoid sticking to pan.
4. Now banana's should look like homogenous cooked mixture. Add cardomom powder to it and mix well.
5. Let the stuffing cool down. Divide it into two portions.
6. Divide chapati dough into four 4 cm diameter balls.
7. Roll all of them to 8-10 cm like puri.
8. Put one portions of stuffing on one puris, put another puri over it an cover it from edges.
9. Roll it gently to spread stuffing uniformly. Repeat it for another paratha.
9. Roast the paratha's on heated griddle till golden brown from both sides.
10. Serve hot with a pat of ghee.
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September 28, 2010

Gold Coin

I had learnt this recipe in a Chinese cookery class in Pune during my 10th standard vacations. I had attempted it then and now after a long gap, made it again. Bread combined with potato and sesame topping tasted yummy and crispy. Not sure it this is a Chinese dish at all, but is a best example of Indo-Chinese cuisine.

Gold Coin 002
6 bread slices
Oil for frying

2 medium sized potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 cup carrot grated, capsicum chopped and sweet corn boiled and mashed
Coriander finely chopped
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp soy sauce
1 pinch garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder (or as per taste)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup corn flour
Salt to taste

  1. Cut all bread slices into round shape using a medium sized steel bowl (vati).
  2. Mix all ingredients given under topping to get a uniform consistency similar to an alu paratha stuffing.
  3. Divide the topping into 6 equal portions.
  4. Spread the topping on each bread circle and apply little pressure so that it sticks to the bread.
  5. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over it uniformly and roll in corn flour.
  6. Deep fry in hot oil. Drain the excess oil on a tissue.
  7. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.
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