Powered by Blogger.

July 27, 2009


I always thought that pickle making was a science beyond me, very complicated, time-consuming and one had to have some special skills, but really it is not so! It is incredibly simple and fuss-free as you will see in the below pictorial, hope this inspires you to make a jar of your own, to enjoy with paranthas, puris, mathris or simply on it's own.This is my ma-in-law's recipe which has been followed for centuries in the family and year after year jars and jars of pickle are lovingly preserved and probably even gifted to some special family members.This pickle keeps almost indefinitely and has that special flavor of the punjabi household.. Try and use the special "Ramkela" variety of mango, if possible, refer to the below pictures for what the mango looks like. For this pickle you require-

  • Raw Mangoes (ambis)-2 kgs (you can easily double it if you wish)

  • Fenugreek seeds(methi seeds, methre)- 250 gms

  • Aniseed (saunf)-250 gms

  • Onion seeds(kalonji)-50 gms

  • Turmeric powder(haldi)-1/2 cup

  • Salt -about 400 gms

  • Mustard oil-1 kg

  • Red chilli powder- acc. to taste.

  • 1 piece of coal (for smoking and sterilizing the jar)

  • Asafoetida(for smoking the jar)- a little

mango pickle.JPG

Cut mango into pieces as shown above. Heat Mustard oil to smoking point, switch off flame and let cool.

mango pickle spices.JPG

Combine the onion seeds, fenugreek and aniseed, note the handful of mango seeds chopped up in between, this seed pickle, my ma-in-law is wonderful for tummy aches!

mango pickle spices1.JPG

Measure out salt, turmeric and chilli powder separately

mixing mango pickle spices.JPG

Tip in all the spices

mango pickle spices mixing.JPG

Mix everything in with clean dry hands, add only about as much oil as required to coat, keep rest aside.

glazed pot.JPG

Prepare the jar or the glazed pottery "barani" or "biyyam", alternatively you can use a glass jar.Wash and clean then take a small piece of smoldering coal , put a bit of astafoetida (hing) on it, invert the jar and let it smoke, this gives a special flavor and the hing-smoke and also sterilizes it in a way.

jar ready for storing.JPG

After 2-3 days pour the rest of the oil in the jar, this acts as a barrier between the pickle and atmosphere and prevents pickle from getting spoilt, always ensure that the mango pieces are submerged in the oil.Tie muslin cloth around the neck of the jar.

There- your delicious mango pickle will be ready in just a few weeks, enjoy!

Print Friendly and PDF

July 25, 2009


spicy chickpea salad.JPG

Day 3 and the cravings hit hard today, I don't know whether it was because I was thinking about it or because my body was missing all the sugar it was so used to? :), I wanted something "chatpata", so I made this spicy salad-but I am STILL CRAVING CHOCOLATE!..

  • Boiled Chickpeas-1 cup

  • Onion- 1 large finely chopped

  • Tomato- 1 large chopped

  • Green chillies-2 chopped, deseeded

  • Tamarind pulp- 1 tbsp

  • Lemon juice-2 tbsp

  • Salt and red chilli pwdr- acc. to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well, mashing the chana's a little too, season acc. to taste, serve with kulchas if desired.I had just the chana salad.

This recipe triggers back memories of College days in Punjab University, where we used to eat these everyday off the roadside vendor with a huge brass vessel atop his bicycle,a very common sight in North India and a boon for the students who could, at times afford only this- Chana and two kulchas for Rs.5/- :)

Well coming to DAY 3, this is what I had today-

  • Early Morning-Tea-1 cup sweetened with Sugar free Natura+handful of besan bhujia

  • Breakfast- Buttermilk- 1 glass with sweetener and 1 tsp Protinex powder +1 Besan and soya chapati with bittergourd vegetable

  • Lunch-2 Besan soya chapatis +bittergourd veggie

  • Evening-1 large bowl Spicy Chickpea salad(recipe above)+ 1 glass Cucumber and spinach juice

  • Dinner-Rajma-1 katori+1 egg cooked in non-stick pan

  • Exercise- half an hour walk

Print Friendly and PDF

July 24, 2009


Hey it's Day 2 and I am jumping with joy, never thought I would last more than a few hours, well here's today's diet and the one good thing you might notice is the inclusion of Soyabean flour and besan chapati as a substitute for regular wheatflour chapatis, for this take equal parts of besan and soyabean flour and knead with water, roll out and cook like regular chapatis.

  • Early Morning-1 glass buttermilk with Sugar free Natura

  • Breakfast-1 Besan soya chapati+Baingan bharta-2 tbsp

  • Mid morning- Roasted chana(a handful)

  • Lunch-Cucumber-2 slices+2 Besan soya chapatis+1 katori Amaranth dal+2 pieces gatte ki sabzi

  • Evening-1 glassVegetable + fruit juice (cucumber,spinach,apples)

  • Dinner-1 Besan soya chapati+1 egg cooked in 1/2 tsp ghee in nonstick pan

  • Inbetween-2 to 3 glasses of lemon water(no sugar or salt)

  • Walk for 20 minutes

From tomorrow will be including 1 tsp of high protein powder too, lets see how it goes...:)

Print Friendly and PDF

July 23, 2009


It all started when I came across Kay's blog and thought that why not try this-it is basically a two week NO GRAIN DIET, a modified version of the South Beach diet, Bee and Indira are in it too and you can click on their names to find out just what they are doing :), as for me, I thought I must share my experience with you all and maybe someone can benefit out of it too, I know it is pretty boring to read a diet log BUT if you are seriously thinking of being fit and maybe lose some weight this can come in handy.

I have never followed a diet in my entire life, have never fasted, but due to certain hormonal changes, my weight had reached a plateau, with my BMI touching 26 I thought it is time for some serious action, I thought I will never get past a few hours on this plan and today is DAY 2!! and I am feeling great, I did have a headache which Kay says is a sign of detox, but otherwise no hunger pangs.

My first concern was that since I am working 9 hours a day, how will I be able to pull across without chapatis/rotis without feeling a loss of energy, once I devised the following mixture and made a dough out of it for my chapatis I was at ease, it is basically combining half quantity of soyabean flour and half of gramflour, kneading it and making chapatis out of it, I think it tastes great and I loved it!


  • Early Morning-Unsweetened tea-1 cup+Besan bhujia- a handful

  • Breakfast-Buttermilk with roasted zeera- 1 glass+

  • Fresh Peaches-2

  • Mid-morning-Almonds-a handful

  • Lunch-Besan Cheela-2 small+

  • Amaranth dal-2 katoris+

  • Black chana-1/2 katori+1 small tomato+lemon juice

  • Walk for 1 hour in the Evening

  • Evening-(instead of Tea/Coffee)Roasted soyabean+bhuna chana mixture+1/2 glass veggie and fruit juice

  • Dinner-1 large besan cheela+1 egg

  • I started with the Soyabean -besan chapatis today, yeasterday it was only Besan cheela.

  • I also take 1 Evening primrose oil capsule +1 Tablet B-Long-F both for PMS, also 1 calcium tablet.

I was craving some Sugar though but the small amount of fruit in the veggie juice took care of it, so as of now everything's under control :) hmmm...so far... so good!!

Print Friendly and PDF

July 22, 2009


cheesy italian tomato pasta.JPG

We enjoy macaroni a lot particularly with crisp toasted garlic bread, it's easy and healthy too provided you use wholewheat/ hardwheat semolina pasta/macaroni.Here I have purposefully avoided adding any cream based sauces in an attempt to make it healthy and possibly low-cal.The addition of tomatoes makes this pasta tangy and delicious not to mention upping the VIT.C, VIT.A AND LYCOPENE content,The inclusion of cheese is not that much and can easily be substituted with paneer/tofu if you are watcing your weight or for any other health reasons.

  • Hardwheat semolina macaroni/pasta of choice-1 cup (boiled with salt and 1/2 tsp oil)

  • Tomatoes-3 large

  • Onion-1 small, diced

  • Oregano-1/2 tsp

  • Sugar-1/2 tsp

  • Vinegar-1/2 tsp

  • Freshly ground black pepper-1/4 tsp

  • Olive oil-2 tbsp

  • Cheese-acc. to preference

Boil tomatoes and onion till mushy and soft, let cool and puree in a blender.Heat olive oil, add the tomato puree and cook till it is a thick paste, add the oregano, sugar, vinegar, seasoning and lastly tip in the boiled macaroni cook for another five minutes, add the diced cubes of cheese and serve, the heat from the pasta will partially melt the cheese cubes, you can add fresh basil/veggies of choice too if desired.Serve piping hot.

cheesy italian tomato pasta1.JPG

Print Friendly and PDF

July 20, 2009


This curry is being cooked in two kitchen's simultaneously mine and mom's, and then we will compare notes, she came across this recipe and hasn't stopped gushing about it ever since!I must say it makes one really rustic lip-smacking delicious curry, and true to it's name requires ingredients that you would find anywhere and everywhere, truly gypsy style!

banjara gosht.JPG

  • Mutton-1/2 kg

  • Onions- 3 large (chopped or pureed)

  • Clarified butter(ghee)-4-5 tbsp

  • Fresh, thick Curd- 1/2 cup

  • Red chillies whole-2 or 3 acc. to preference

  • Garam masala-1 tbsp

Boil mutton for 15-20 minutes in 2-3 cups water and keep aside, meanwhile brown onions in the ghee and add the chillies, strain the mutton and reserve stock, add mutton to the browned onions and roast or"bhuno" well(another 15 minutes), keep adding little bit of curd and alternate with the reserved mutton stock, till it is all used up, season with salt.Add about 1-2 cups hot water and cook covered till done, alternately give 7-8 whistles in the pressure cooker, serve hot with rice or bajra rotis.

banjara gosht1.JPG

Print Friendly and PDF

July 18, 2009


oats cheela1.JPG

You all must be wondering that besan cheela/poora is what everyone is familiar with but Oats cheela, unheard of na??Well this recipe was born when I got sick of having oats with milk,I am sure you also must have felt that way :). I wanted to incorporate this cholesterol lowering high-fibre food into my daily diet so I came up with this lovely crispy snack that is great anytime and really healthy, try it!!...

  • Quaker Instant oats-1/2 cup (grind to a powder in the mixie)

  • Gram flour (besan)-2 tablespoons

  • Curd-1 tbsp

  • Green chillies-2 finely chopped

  • Sesame seeds- to sprinkle over

  • Curry leaves-a handful finely chopped

  • Cottage cheese(crumbled)-1/2 cup

In a large bowl combine all the above ingredients and add water little by little, stirring all the time so that no lumps are formed and it turns into a smooth dosa-like batter, season with salt.Now heat a non-stick pan and smear with very little oil, spread out the prepared mixture like a pancake or dosa, let cook till coloured on both sides, sprinkle some sesame seeds and cottage cheese and fold over, serve hot with ketchup.Perfect for a rainy day! so this healthy snack is off to Shanthi for her event-Lovely Winter Recipes

Print Friendly and PDF

July 15, 2009


peach iced tea cake.JPG

Last night after dinner I wanted dessert (as usual) and in an attempt to eat healthy decided to eat fruit instead, on opening the fridge I saw fresh peaches staring at me in fact begging me to put them to good use!, so at 10 in the night inspiration struck like a bolt of lightening at at 10:10, I put this cake to bake in the oven, sharp at 11:00 I had my dessert and went to sleep dreaming sweet dessert dreams...

I wanted the cake to have that really fresh peachy flavor but did not have any peach derivative like extract, jam,or preserve at hand then suddenly I remembered a package of Nestle Peach Iced tea premix and this impossibly delicious cake was born.

  • Fresh peach-1 large, skinned and sliced

  • All purpose flour-1/2 cup

  • Iced tea premix-5 tsp

  • Sugar-5 tsp (since the Iced tea already has sugar and the peaches I had were tart, adjust acc. to your preference and peaches)

  • Baking powder-1/2 tsp

  • Egg-1

Add 2-3 tbsp water to the Iced tea mix and keep aside, layer a baking pan with foil and arrange peach slices in circular pattern.Combine egg, sugar and beat well, add the Iced tea and flour+baking powder in the end.Pour carefully on the peach slices and bake for 30-40 minutes at 180C in a preheated oven.

Really simple and one of the best tasting cakes I have ever had...all the flavors came together so well, the tartness of the peaches mellowed down with the chai flavor, the cake itself turned out incredibly soft and smooth, take it a notch up and serve with whipped cream...ahhh heaven! will definitely be making this again.

Print Friendly and PDF

July 13, 2009


eggless chococake.JPG

I have never baked an eggless cake before, always thought they would lack flavor and would be a waste of ingredients, but then I was sooo wrong! Had a big jar of 100%Veg mayonnaise lying in the fridge since really long, so that got me thinking and this recipe was born, the texture of the cake is soft and velvety, I mean really unbelievably soft and delicious...and dripping chocolate...

  • Flour-1 cup

  • Sugar-1/2 cup

  • Sweetened chocolate-30 gms

  • Vanilla essence-1 tsp

  • Mayonnaise-1/3 cup

  • Baking powder-1/2 tsp

  • Baking soda-1/2 tsp

  • Vinegar-1 tsp

  • Warm water-2/3 cup

Preheat oven to 180C, prepare a round baking pan.Melt chocolate with 1 tbsp warm water(in the microwave), add the mayonnaise and vinegar, then the rest of the ingredients,add warm water right in the end, mix well.Bake for 30-40 minutes, I topped the cake with some more melted chocolate for a more chocolaty experience. It was yum! Do you have a jar of mayo in the fridge too???then do make this :)

eggless chococake1.JPG

Print Friendly and PDF

July 12, 2009


chicken curry.JPG

Last night I was craving some very simple, easy, and no-fuss food, and was totally uninspired as to what I should cook for dinner, had some chicken in the freezer but was really not feeling upto cooking anything elaborate so I just followed my heart and came up with this SIMPLEST of chicken curry's which is so perfect for Bachelors or students, not that I am saying that all you of you out there cannot make it, in fact I feel all of us need a break and want something really quick and easy to rustle up at a moment's notice, in fact these kind of recipes are a favorite with all of us and I am sure even you must be having YOUR favorite too!!, All the ingredients are chopped by hand, since here I am assuming that most student's or bachelors do not own a mixer/grinder and believe me the chunky bits taste delicious!, also the entire recipe involves just one kadhai/frying pan, so there's minimal cleaning up later!!.The simplicity of this chicken curry does in no way compromise on the taste which is so rustic and full-bodied, it makes my mouth water just at the very thought of it :), perfect with plain boiled rice, or hot paranthas.

  • Chicken-1 (about700gms, cut into small pieces)

  • Onions-3 medium (chopped)

  • Tomatoes-3 medium(chopped)

  • Green chillies-2 chopped

  • Oil-1/2 cup

  • Ginger and garlic- 1 tbsp each, chopped

  • Garam masala-1 tbsp

  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp.

Heat oil in a large kadhai, add the chicken pieces a few at a time and fry till well browned, now add all the chicken back in the kadhai and toss in the rest of the ingredients except for garam masala, and cover, cook on low flame for 15-20 minutes,stirring every 5 minutes or so, then add some hot water, once oil separates from the masala, lastly season with salt , add garam masala and cook covered for further 5 minutes, serve hot.You can add more water if you want more gravy in the chicken.

Print Friendly and PDF

July 11, 2009


raw m.jpg

I simply love mangoes-in all their glorious avtars, the luscious ripe flesh is sweet and delicious and the raw flesh is tangy, sour and equally mouth-watering.I thought of making this chutney to go with some simple dal-chawal, and it really spiced up the meal, we all loved it and the whole bowl was licked clean in seconds!


  • Medium raw mago-1

  • Green chillies-2

  • Raw chana dal- 2 tbsp

  • Garlic-3 plump cloves

  • Curry leaves-5

  • Salt to taste

  • Oil-1/2 tsp

  • METHOD-Heat oil and fry the chana dal till a deep lovely golden brown, add the garlic and turn off the stove, what I wanted to achieve here was that the rawness of the garlic should disappear and at the same time I never wanted a fried garlic taste, let cool like in the pic below:

mango chutney2.JPG

Peel and cut mango into slices, add the rest of the ingredients and grind to a fine paste in a mixie, add the salt in the end, serve as a dip or accompaniment.

mango chutney.JPG

Print Friendly and PDF

July 9, 2009


garlicky potato buns.JPG

Don't we all just love quick bites to pack off to kid's lunches, office tiffins, morning breakfasts and evening snacks, a no fuss, minimal work, all-in-one solution...these buns are exactly that a delicious option for all the busy bees, or maybe I did not want to bake buns and then figure out a filling for them, well so I thought let's bake the filling right into it!, Ingenuity or plain laziness, it's hard to say, well you enjoy them while I figure it out!!!


  • Warm water-1 cup

  • Sugar-1 tbsp

  • Active dry yeast-3/4 tbsp

  • Salt-1/2 tbsp

  • Oil- 2tbsp

  • All purpose flour- 3 cups

  • Boiled potatoes/Vegetables of choice

  • Butter-1 tbsp(for brushing over after baking)

  • Egg-1 (for brushing over before baking), can use milk wash instead too

  • Garlic-2 large cloves, chopped

  • Seasoning of choice

METHOD-Warm water and add sugar, sprinkle yeast and leave to proof for 10 minutes.In the meantime prepare filling-Spray a little oil in a non-stick pan and add garlic and then diced potatoes, you can add cumin too if you like, fry for 10 minutes, add seasoning and cilantro if desired and keep aside to cool.To the yeast mixture add the oil, salt and then flour in 3 parts, till a smooth dough is achieved, leave in an oiled bowl for 1 hour till well risen.Shape dough into buns after 1 hour and stuff with mixture, encasing well, place on baking tray and brush with egg wash then sprinkle with sesame seeds, leave for 1 hour more, then bake at 200C for 30 minutes, immediately brush with butter, serve with ketchup.

garlicky potato buns1.JPG

These buns are off to Susan of Yeastspotting, to Divya for Show me your breakfast event and to PJ for Think Spice-think Sesame brainchild of Sunita

Print Friendly and PDF

July 6, 2009


Dal Makhani.JPG

This dal is such an integral part of North Indian Cuisine that it is difficult to imagine a meal without it, it is a favorite with most of us and the taste is greatly heightened by serving it with butter naans or tandoori rotis.It is traditional fare at "langars" in gurudwaras, at weddings or simply any joyous occassion.Though it is simple to make the secret lies in adding two diverse ingredients, one is the mustard oil added in middle of the cooking process which makes the dal denser and imparts a special flavor and the other is milk added right in the end so that the dal is rich, creamy and thick, so here we go!


  • Black lentils (maa-ki-dal)-1/2 cup

  • Kidney beans(rajma)-1/4 cup

  • Onions(grated/pureed)-1 large

  • Tomato-1 large(pureed)

  • Ginger+garlic paste-1 tbsp

  • Mustard oil-1 tbsp

  • Milk-1/2 cup

  • Desi ghee-2 tbsp

  • Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp

  • Garam masala-1 tbsp

  • Dhania pwdr-1 tsp

  • Green chillies-2 finely chopped

  • Hing-a pinch

METHOD-Soak black lentils and rajma overnight, next morning, add mustard oil and hing and give 6-8 whistles in the pressure cooker and cook till done, keep aside.Heat desi ghee fry the cumin seeds till crisp, add onion paste and fry till brown , next add the ginger garlic and tomato and fry for 20 minutes till oil separates and masala turns dark, add green chillies, garam masala and dhania powder, cook for 5 minutes, next add this masala to the boiled dal and stir well, mashing up the dal, lastly season and stir in the milk, let cook for 10 minutes.Serve hot garnished with coriander and more thick cream.

As you can see all the ingredients are rich and the end result is very satisfying, is that the reason why it is also called maa-ki-dal?... and I would not recommend skimping on any one of them, this dal is certainly not for the faint-hearted!

Print Friendly and PDF

July 4, 2009


chocolate cupcakes.JPG

I had read so much about these that I absolutely HAD to make them, I have such a passion for chocolate that one look and I am hooked!, I absolutely crave chocolate at times....well most of the times!.This cake is the stuff chocoholic dreams are made up of, its deep, dense, dark and absolutely fudgy "intense chocolate"is the word.I love it! It fulfills your worst chocolate craving and is very easy to make too.The recipe is from the famous Chocolate and Zucchini and can be found here.It is almost flourless and it was my first experience of baking such a cake, as Clotilde says-this cake is best baked a day before I totally agree, it actually was best the next day.

I simply put the lovely dark and delicious batter into cupcake pans and baked Cupcakes out of it, here's the recipe-

  • Butter-200gms

  • Dark chocolate-200gms

  • Sugar-1 cup (200gms)

  • Eggs-4

  • Flour-1 rounded tablespoon

METHOD-Preheat oven to 180C and line a 8 inch cake pan/line muffin tray.Melt butter and sugar together and add in the sugar, let cool a little, then add the eggs one by one beating well, lastly add the flour.Mix well and pour into pan/muffin tray, bake.Here I must say the batter rises well and then collapses a bit, but don't be disappointed it will still taste wonderful..After baking for 30 minutes, switch off oven and leave the cake in for another 10 minutes.

As you can see the ingredients that go into this melty-gooey cake are on the heavier side and since it is so hot here, I served these spread with extra chocolate frosting (oh my gosh, will I never stop!) and some cool vanilla icecream to balance off the heaviness, it was delicious...ummmm

melt in the mouth cupcakes.JPG

Print Friendly and PDF

July 2, 2009


sweet dough bread1.JPG

Baking with yeast is very satisfying and therapeutic.Nowadays I find myself making buns, rolls and breads all the time and I just love it.I was never satisfied with store-brought wholewheat bread and always used to think -is it REALLY Wholewheat? or simply regular flour and caramel colour, well now I bake it for my morning breakfast myself and enjoy it fresh with butter, jam and coffee.

sweet dough bread2.JPG


  • Wholewheat Flour-3 cups

  • Egg-1

  • Salt-1 tsp

  • Butter-1/4 cup

  • Sugar-1/2 cup

  • Milk-1/2 cup

  • Water-1/2 cup

  • Sugar-1 tsp extra

  • Active dryYeast-2 tsp

METHOD-Warm up the water, add the 1 tsp.sugar, dissolve then sprinkle yeast, leave for a while till it turns into a foam.Now warm the milk slightly add sugar, salt, butter, stir till sugar is dissolved.In a large bowl combine the milk mixture with yeast mixture, add flour and the egg and knead well, transfer to a well oiled bowl, let rise well for an hour.Punch down and shape into loaves, leave to rise again for 1/2 an hour and bake after brushing tops with little milk at 200C. I baked two rounds like in the picture below,making a cross on the top with a sharp knife, the rounds sliced well and were delicious.

sweet dough bread.JPG

This healthy bread is off to Susan of Wild Yeast for herYeastspotting weekly event and to Divya for Show me your breakfast event

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Back to TOP   

} catch(err) {}