Crab Apple – don’t ask me how it is related to apple and why the word ‘crab’ in it! 🙂 Crab apple is a small red coloured fruit, which is very sour in taste. I came to know of a couple of years ago. There was (still is) a little tree in our front garden, planted by our house builder. It bears small fruit like a cherry, but not the same taste as that of cherry. For the first couple of years, I never thought of doing anything with it. Then one time a neighbour told me that it is crab apple tree, and it is used to make jellies. I googled and understood that it is an excellent source of pectin, hence people mainly use it to make jelly.
I am not into jelly, so the Indian in me finalised at the next best usage of this fruit – chutney! When I made the chutney for the first time, my darling hubby became a huge fan of it! After that I had to made 2 big batches as he plucked all the crab apples from the tree! This crab apple chutney is a sweet and sour dip which you can enjoy with chips, pancakes, fritters, paranthas, etc.
I am a coffee aficionado and have been experimenting with using coffee in my recipes. And one of the best results has been these Eggless Coffee Beans Cookies. When I made them for the first time, I wasn’t sure whether both my daughters would like them, but these beautiful delights were a superhit! Both my angels loved them so much that now I make them regularly on their demand!
Fruit custard is one of the easiest dessert that is a quick recipe, is super delicious and generally sought after by one and all. It is a creamy milk dessert made up of very few ingredients – fruits, milk, sugar and custard powder. You can use any of your favourite fruits in this custard and cherish this flavourful sweet treat. It is a remarkably simple yet luscious dessert which you can make a night before and serve the next day.
Besan laddu is one such Indian sweet that is made in almost all households in India during festivals and celebrations. Besan is the Hindi word for chickpea/gram flour and Laddu refers in general to all round shaped Indian sweets. Besan laddu is an easy recipe that needs only 3-4 ingredients. Making it in the traditional way could be a bit tedious job, but let me tell you a recipe using which you can make it easily in less than 10 minutes.
Dahi vada is a popular street food of India. It is a tangy, savoury snack that consists of dahi (yogurt), vada (lentil fritter) and accompaniments- Imli (tamarind) chutney with little salt, red chilli powder and roasted cumin powder! This truly makes a lip-smacking snack, which anybody can have any time of the day!
Sheer Khurma or Vermicelli Pudding or Sevaiyon ki Kheer is a luscious royal dessert. It is a traditional Eid dessert. I believe Sheer refers to milk and Kurma means dates. You need full fat milk, fine vermicelli, sugar and dry fruits to make this creamy-rich super delicious dessert; it is a very quick and easy recipe.
Zebra cake is a vanilla and chocolate cake with stripes like that of a Zebra. It is one of the most beautiful Tea Cake I have made so far. I started baking (eggless) cakes in the lockdown only and since then have made a few cakes with plain/ all-purpose flour. Post the first 3-4 cakes, once confident, I started making cakes with whole wheat flour (aata).
This beautiful Zebra cake is one of the most favourite cake of my family and friends. When I made this cake for the first time I was totally chuffed and gave myself a pat when I looked at my beautiful cake.😍
Nutella Chocolate Oreo Mousse is a sumptuous dessert which you can make very easily in just a few minutes. I never knew that this so delicious delicacy is so easy to make until my dear friend Krutika introduced me to it. It is egg free, rich, creamy and indeed chocolatey! You only need a few ingredients, whisk them properly and set them in the refrigerator and voila! Your super delicious Nutella Chocolate Oreo Mousse is ready!
Bread Pizza is perhaps the all time favourite and super hit snack/lunch/dinner for kids and adults (who just love pizza, like me 😉 ). Bread pizzas satiate your craving for pizza when you don’t have enough time to make your own pizza dough. You can make this Bread Pizza with your choice of toppings. You just need a loaf of white bread, pizza/pasta sauce, butter, cheese and your choice of vegetables. It is a really easy recipe and tastes awesome! Both my angels (daughters) love bread pizza preferring it over the regular one from the pizza shop. In fact they request (more like demand) this bread pizza every fortnight 😀 .
Medu Vada is a South Indian fritter made from urad dal (split skinned black gram). It is a doughnut shaped fritter with a crispy exterior and a fluffy-soft interior. Medu means soft and vada means round fritter. People mostly enjoy Medu vada with Sambhar and Coconut Chutney; and some enjoy with Idli or Masala Dosa as well. But I love these delicious Medu vadas on their own, or sometimes with coconut chutney and coffee!
My baking journey started in this year’s lockdown (March 2020). And the full credit for my baking goes to my darling daughters – I took up baking just because of them. My first cake was for my elder angel’s birthday (end of March), as she just wanted a homemade cake for her birthday. Though I was a bit nervous, I took the plunge and baked the birthday cake and by God’s grace it turned out to be yummy and beautiful!
And that’s how I started, and got the courage to continue my baking journey. From then on I have tried many different cakes using multiple ingredients, dabbling in variety, taste, size etc.,
This Eggless Whole Wheat Eggless Banana Chocolate Cake is my hubby’s favourite. I made my first loaf and he loved it so much that he requested me to make it again on his birthday! The birthday cake was also a super hit and vanished in 5 minutes; everyone (adults and children) just loved it!
Tapioca pearls (commonly called ‘sabudana/sago‘ in India) are a very good source of carbohydrates. Most people in India eat sabudana on fasting days (as a vrat staple). But nowadays people enjoy various sabudana dishes in breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner.
The festive spirit is upon us, and this post of mine is my attempt to spread enjoyment this season. Every year I make both sweets and savouries around Diwali, just the way it used to happen when I was a kid. Of course sweets are a must but I favour savouries as they can be stored for a longer time (and thus enjoyed more 🙂 ) I usually make namkeens (different shapes), and mathri (plain, rose) each year on Diwali (and Holi) but this year I wanted to make something special, something from my childhood time, something new!
I know it has been a really long gap, and I am sorry for that. I would also like to say a heartfelt thanks for all your messages during this time. I stopped writing the blog due to health reasons (when I conceived my younger angel); and then both our little angels kept me on my toes. Honestly speaking no complaints – I fully enjoyed being with both of them and cherished every moment of motherhood. Though cooking was still going on full swing. I simply did not get the time to write on the blog. Now as my younger angel has started school, I am here with you guys to continue our joyful journey of cooking delicious food 🙂
Ghee (clarified butter) is undoubtedly the lifeline of Indian cuisine. We Indians use ghee in almost everything that we cook – curry (sabji), chapati, lentils, paranthas, laddus and so and so forth. Traditionally, ghee has been prepared, in some form or other, in all Indian households through milk; but now the usage of branded ghee has taken over. When we moved to London five years back, I found it hard to pick up a good quality ghee from the supermarket shelf; some well-known Indian brands were also available but the price premium was too high. I did try couple of local UK ones but failed to get the taste of pure ghee. But then I discovered the art of making ghee from (unsalted) butter – and I have not looked back again 🙂
I do not think Puri/Poori needs any introduction from my side 🙂 ; nonetheless, for all my global friends, Puri is a deep fried Indian bread made up of whole wheat flour. Puri is almost an essential part of every special Indian occasion. We Indians irrespective of our states, regions, religion, shape and size love to devour these Indian breads in many combinations – Chhole-Puri, Chana-Puri, Halwa-Puri, Puri-Aloo ki Subzi, and the list can simply go on 🙂 However I am not covering any of these today but sharing something unique – Moong Dal Puri, which as the name suggests is Puri made from Moong daal (yellow split lentil). I recently prepared it for the first time on Shitla Astami (a day marked in respect to goddess Shitla Mata), and it was an instant superhit. The credit for the recipe goes to my darling Mumma as she introduced it to me recently. Moong Dal Puri is a crispy and spicy puri which can be enjoyed equally as a main bread item or as a standalone snack. Continue reading →
Dosa is another gem coming from South Indian cuisine with an equally strong standing in rest of Indian states. For all my global friends, Dosa is essentially a rice and lentil fermented crepe. Masala Dosa is simply the filling based version of the plain Dosa. Dosa/Masala Dosa is best enjoyed with Sambhar and Coconut chutney – made perfectly, the combination is a bliss for any food lover !
Continuing my focus on South-Indian delicacies, this post today covers another quintessential dish of South Indian cuisine – Sambhar. Sambhar is a nutritious dish made up of tuvar/arhar daal (types of lentils) and mixed vegetables. You can use your own choice of vegetables in the Sambhar and make it healthy as per your preferences. I have made the Sambhar Masala Powder at home too, so that we have our own healthy Sambhar ! South Indian households consume Sambhar nearly everyday; it is served with idli, dosa, rice, vada, upma etc.
Firstly thanks to darl Melinda of Linda Creations for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. This is my first award in blogging and I am very honoured to receive this; I am really happy to get this for my relatively young blogging (4 months only). Melinda had nominated me in January but somehow I could not write this post – very sorry for being late dear. It feels good that someone has found my work this worthy – thanks a ton darling ❤
This post presents one of the well-known dips Coconut Chutney, which is a must-have accompaniment in the South Indian cuisine. It is a very simple and quick recipe and, can be enjoyed with all meals during the day. North Indians predominantly associate it with Idli, Dosa, Medu Vada and Upma but this is present across all the South Indian states and used extensively.
Paneer Butter Masala is one of the most popular paneer recipe in the Indian cuisine. In fact, this could be stated as the 1stpaneer based item that started the usage of Paneer in Indian kitchens. As the name suggests, it is a spicy paneer curry made in butter. The optimum use of butter, spices, tomatoes and cream makes this curry simply delicious and mouth-watering. In line with my own way of healthy eating (but no compromise on taste), I have replaced the cream with milk and cashew nuts.
My health-freak husband, as you all know it 🙂 , bought a whole lot of green vegetables over the weekend for a cleansing/detox diet. However, since I did not do it with him this time 😉 , his diet also went out in 1 day 😜 . As a result, I had much greens in my fridge. So, I picked some of them last night and turned out a super healthy and tasty curry – Chickpea and Kale leaves curry.
Before I start talking about today’s recipe, I would like to take this moment to say a heartfelt thanks to each and everyone who have inspired me for this blog till date – today’s recipe marks my 100th blog post, a significant milestone for me which would not have been possible in this short time frame (just shy of 5 months) without the love and support of all you guys. Let’s celebrate this occasion with the Indian street food gem, the very famous scrumptious Pav Bhaji. The highlight of this recipe is that, I have made this pav bhaji without using the pav bhaji masala…Yes 🙂 …and the taste is just awesome !!
Exploring the amazing taste present throughout India, I am today presenting a very famous recipe from the region/city of Hyderabad – Mirch Ka Salan. This tasty recipe is made from green chillies, peanuts, coconut, sesame seeds and some freshly grounded spices. Mirch is the Hindi word for chilli and Salan in Urdu language (local language in Hyderabad) refers to curry. Mirch ka Salan is thus a spicy and tangy green chilli curry. I have prepared this Mirch Ka Salan in a slightly different manner, as compared to the traditional style, but it is still toothsome 😋😋.
Kadai Paneer is perhaps the best full-blown paneer dish made – in my humble opinion 🙂 This classic results from an apt combination of paneer (cottage cheese), bell pepper (capsicum), onion, tomato and some of our great Indian spices. This whole dish is prepared in a Kadai/Kadhai (Indian wok) and so the name Kadai Paneer (but I have made in a pan ;P ). It is a simple recipe but with amazing taste, and one which is generally available in almost all Indian restaurants. I believe my use of freshly grounded spices has made a huge difference as I have got the same flavour as that of a Kadai Paneer from a top-end restaurant.
Rajma (red kidney beans curry) comes from North India, specifically from the state of Punjab, and is omnipresent in eateries of all shapes and sizes. Rajma is essentially the Hindi name for red kidney beans. Rajma curry is prepared using a spicy onion-tomato gravy. People generally prefer this curry with rice as a quick bite, as evident from the consumption of Rajma-Chawal (Chawal is the Hindi name for rice) in Northern India.
Matar paneer is the most common form of paneer dish available in almost all Indian restaurants – big or small. It is a delicious curry made from soft Paneer (Cottage Cheese) and Matar (Peas) in a mild spicy tomato curry. It is a very simple, quick, tasty recipe which seems to be is loved by everyone. Today I have made Matar Paneer with only 1 tsp of oil but there is absolutely no compromise in taste and colour.
My darling husband is a truly chocolate lover and so is our angel. I made this Eggless Chocolate-Coffee Molten Lava Cup Cake last night to give them a warm surprise after dinner, as they were glued to the telly. They were so happy with it that I had to prepare it again immediately 😉 . The cake has a gooey, chocolatey, molten centre and takes only 5 minutes (hardly) to make from scratch.
Getting back into my Rajasthani mould 🙂 , this post presents another speciality from the desert state – Bharwan Mirch. Yes, this inadvertently continues to spread the best of Rajasthani cuisine as I simply cannot resist myself to share more and more speciality of my wonderful Rangeelo Rajasthan ;). For the benefit of all, “Bharwan” in Hindi means stuffed and “Mirch” means green chilli; essentially it is a side dish, made up of green chillies stuffed with spicy chickpea flour mix. Do note that the green chillies used are the long, thick green ones as they tend to be less spicy than the regular small,thin green chillies.
Broccoli is a very nutritional vegetables, full of many essential vitamins, minerals and low in calories. However today I have used the stems (Danthal in hindi) of Broccoli, which generally goes in the bin, to make Broccoli Stem Parantha. I am sure my previous dishes using Broccoli (Broccoli Parantha, and Broccoli Kofta Curry) would have at least made clear its rich nutritional value. Apart from these 2 recipes, I also make a Broccoli dry curry on a regular basis in my home ( I will post the recipe soon 🙂 )
Aloo Bonda or Aloo Chop/Aloo Chaap is a deep fried, crispy, savoury appetiser made with spicy potato mix and coated with chickpea flour (“Besan” in Hindi) batter. For all my friends, Aloo is the Hindi name for Potato, and Bonda in colloquial Hindi could be designated as Fritter. This potato fritter is also packaged as the famous “Vada Pav” in Mumbai/Western India, with the pav (bun/bread). Last but not the least, this potato fritter is known as “Aloo Chaap/Aloo Chop” in Kolkata/Eastern India.
Continuing the Makar Sankranti theme, the next in line after the Til Papdi is another lovely and nutritious snack – Peanut Chikki (could be termed as Peanut Brittles). Peanut Chikki is a healthy, and delicious candy made from peanuts and jaggery. Apparently my husband and his friends ate/enjoyed them in Pune/Lonavla during their MBA days 🙂
First things first – this post is dedicated to Tilkuta Chauth / Sakat Chauth, a revered day for fasting, which comes on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha, in the month of Magh (January) according to the Hindu calendar. This vrat (fast) is mainly observed in North/West India and it is believed that fasting on this day removes all the obstacles from life and Lord Ganesha blesses his devotees with health, fortune and good children. For the benefit of all, Til is the Hindi word for Sesame seeds. On this Sakat Chauth day, sweets made up with sesame seeds and jaggery like Til Papdi, Til Laddu or Tilkut (meaning grounded sesame seeds) are offered to God – hence the day is also termed as Tilkuta Chauth.
Yes, you got it right 🙂 This is the continuation of my winter enjoyment theme. I am presenting my ultimate-winter delight -Gajar Ka Halwa (known as Carrot Pudding in English). Gajar ka Halwa has been a part of my family’s new year celebrations since my childhood, and it is the same with my husband’s family. I can safely say that I have successfully managed to follow this tradition post my marriage, as both of us (my husband and me) really relish this super-dessert.
Continuing our mutual enjoyment of this wonderful winter 😉 , I am now presenting my next set of Pakoras – Palak Pakora (Spinach Fritters). Palak Pakora is also a very easy, quick recipe which can be prepared in just 15-20 minutes – just perfect as the tea time snack in this weather.
Thanks a ton to all you lovely friends and followers who have made this stats/report possible !! Hope my efforts will continue recieving your love and support in the years to come ! xx
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
One of the best ways for me to enjoy the chilling weather is to devour some good heavy/fatty food; and being a true Indian, Pakoras (Fritters) are always high on my winter quick-to-do list 🙂 My thinking also has a traditional angle – Marwadi households (from the state of Rajasthan) usually observe a month in winter, mid Dec-mid Jan, wherein they prepare and consume fried foods for religious reasons. Hence in order to satiate my own desire and also to be on the right side of our tradition, I am today presenting one of favourite pakore- the awesome Moong Daal Pakore.
Here I come with another of childhood favourite straight from the lovely land of Rajasthan – Mirchi Bada. In fact to be precise, this is Jodhpur speciality (Jodhpur is a much known city in the state of Rajasthan); it is known popularly that you can’t get that delicious Mirchi Bada/Vada any were else – hence it is also famous as Jodhpuri Mirchi Bada. In a nutshell, Mirchi Bada is a real lip-smacking snack which is made up of big green chillies/jalapeños (Mirchi is the Hindi word for Chilli). A spicy flavoursome potato filling is stuffed in the chillies and covering the chillies as well ; and finally covering with a smooth batter made from chickpea flour (Besan).
With Christmas being just around the corner, the whole environment has turned real Christmassy. Just observing the whole festive spirit/theme, I simply cannot stop myself to be a bit merrier and feel enjoyed with some good cakes and muffins. So, my dear friends, let’s start rolling in this spirit with freshly baked Eggless Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins !
Winter seems to be on full swing here as temperatures are touching the 0°C mark. Harping on the need to eat sweet rich food with the objective of both enjoying the cold weather and also to feel some warmth, my darling husband asked me to make Coconut Burfi over the weekend. Getting two points in one shot (satisfying his demand, and presenting it to all you guys) 😊, I have prepared Coconut Burfi without khoya in a very easy way. I have made this Burfi with sugar so there is no hassle to make any form of sugar syrup.
Continuing my journey of experience, this is my 1st take on Indo-Chinese food – I prepared Vegetable Hakka Noodles last evening. For the benefit of all my friends, Indo-Chinese cuisine is the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes. It is said to have been developed by the small Chinese community that has lived in the city of Kolkata, India for over a century. Today, Chinese food is definitely an integral part of the Indian culinary scene.
Going by my darling daughter’s favourites, and to ensure that she eats without much fuss, I try to use Matar (Peas in English) in most of my curries. On these lines, Kadhai Matar (Green Peas curry) is a very quick, easy, nutritious and a real tasty curry. This triggered last night in my kitchen when my little angel asked me as to what I was preparing; I posed a question to her instead asking what does she wants. And the reply was “I want to eat Matar” 🙂 The usual Matar Paneer immediately came to my mind, but I was in not really in the mood to eat Paneer; and thereby the idea came to me to make a Matar/Peas only curry – and here I present the output as “Kadhai Matar”.
Back to my love for street food/ similar savoury snacks – I would like to admit that this is pure experiment borne out of the love for taste :), and something which I have named as Baked Pinwheel Snack / Baked Samosa Bites / Samosa Bhakarwadi. The best point of such snacks is that they could be enjoyed in most of the seasons, and without much of a guilt. Now if the season is of winter, then nothing could beat them with a hot cuppa tea/coffee.
Continuing my traditional Indian winter specials and in accordance with demand from friends, this post covers another great Laddu that is undoubtedly my hubby’s favourite – Gaund ke Laddu. The logic of consuming these during winters is on the same lines as of Methi ke Laddu – getting the much required warmth and strength during the cold season. However one of the biggest difference/advantage of Gaund ke Laddu is that these could be consumed by all age groups, unlike the Methi ke Laddu which are usually meant for elderly people.
Complying with mother nature’s season of warmth and cosiness and with my Indian genes, I am presenting one of the most devoured winter-essential food item – Methi ke Laddu. To be exact, Methi (Fenugreek seeds in English) Laddu is mainly is a medicinal food item as compared to other usual Indian Laddus. It is perceived to give the much needed warmth to our bodies during winter (and so it is not advisable during the Indian summer) and also provide strength to our bones and joints. Indians mostly above the age of 40-45 consume Methi Laddu in winters as the first thing in their morning, usually with a glass of milk.
Getting back to my love for Indian street food, I present to all another spicy and delicious snack – Dabeli. Dabeli comes from the Western region (Kutch to be exact) of India, precisely from the Kutch region in the state of Gujarat. I however tasted this delicacy in Maharashtra for the 1st time. My husband also recalls that he and his friends did use to enjoy Dabeli during his college days in Pune. The key ingredient in Dabeli is the specific masala, which I have prepared myself at home. Though it is readily available in Indian grocery stores, I tried it at home so that I could experiment with the taste. I can easily and confidently say that once you make it at home, you would not want to buy the readymade one ever again 😉
The super-food Avocado is mostly eaten plain, in salads, as a dip (most famous one is Guacamole) or in the form of shakes. But today I have given this amazing fruit an Indian twist – I have made Avocado Parantha😊. Obviously it is super-healthy, one that satisfies the Indian palate, and defintely a great way to add avocado in our meals. You can even give this as a lunchbox to the kids as the Parantha remains soft and good nutrients will get consumed without any significant effort.
Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi in Hindi) in itself is a very sweet and nutritious vegetable; it is used in many diets, and also consumed in various forms by Indians during fasts. Its winter time folks and this is the time to indulge, eat and rejoice in the festive spirit. Strictly getting into the spirit 🙂 I prepared the Sweet Potato Halwa last night as my dessert. Actually I would like to put the onus on my hubby as he made me to think of Halwa when he asked me to boil some sweet potato for him 🙂
It has been a little more than 6 years since I got married; and like it happens with everyone, this life event not only brought my husband into my life but his friends and their college stories 😉 One such perennial mention was of a Paneer Lababdaar that they used to enjoy in their college canteen. In my hubby’s own words, he had never tasted any other Paneer Lababdaar which exceeded his college experience. To be honest, I had never actually thought of taking this as a challenge and prepare Paneer Lababdaar in our home. However I just thought of preparing this royal/rich dish last night. It did turn out really good. Whether it managed ti surpass my husband’s previous expectations, I will disclose that at the end of this post 🙂
This is in continuation of my previous post on Pistachio Crackers. The same experiment also resulted in herbs based whole wheat crackers, in alignment of my requirement for healthy winter snacks. Do note that these whole wheat herb crackers are my regular item as I make them often. These herbs crackers are quite easy peasy, healthy and quick to prepare. I prefer to make crackers with whole wheat flour, so that I could afford to snack in an healthy, guilt-free way 🙂