Thursday, August 23, 2018

Khubani ka Meetha ( Apricot Sweet)

This is rakhi time. Though with the availability of vast spectrum of sweets available off the counter, there is no comparison of the home made sweets served with love. I am sharing a very easy and very tasty indian ( not so common) sweet, which you can prepare a day or two before.

Apricot / khubani ka meetha  is a new sweet to me, which I had tasted for the first time at my sister's place on my last visit to Roorkee, this July, '18. A very easy to make recipe and "oh so tasty" sweet is the perfect case of sharing on the blog. I am avoiding the adjective "amazing" as this word is used so often, it has lost its uniqueness. This sweet is really unique.

Khumani ka meetha is a famous sweet dish of Hyderabad. It's made in a combination of apricot and custard in Hyderabad. I have used  rabadi instead of custard and it tastes awesome.

Ingredients:
1. Dry Apricot - 500 gm
2. Full cream milk - 2 litre
3. Milk powder - 250 gm
4. Sugar - 2 table spoon

Preparation:
1. Soak the apricot in water for 2 hours. Water level should be at-least 1 inch above the apricots.




2. Take out seeds from the soft apricots. Keep them aside.


3. Grind the soaked apricot with water to a smooth paste.


4. Take a wok, and add the apricot paste. Heat it on sim and let it thicken to the dripping consistency.


5. In another wok/ kadhai simmer the milk on low heat.


6. Once milk starts thickening, add the milk powder and keep stirring till it attains the thickness of milkmaid and pink colour. Our milk rabadi is ready.

7. Add sugar to taste.

8. In a bowl, add the milk rabadi. refrigerate it for 2-3 hours, till it hardens.

9. Now add the khubaani paste over this milk layer and refrigerate again.

10.Serve cool and enjoy the taste of apricot and milk. garnish with dryfruits.













Friday, August 17, 2018

Appam Patra - The Magic Pot



Prestige  Appam patra 

Last week, while scanning the news on Google news, I saw a news item from NDTV about weight loss in my personalized news items . I checked my weight and found that I have gained 4 kg in the last one and a half month while vacationing with my sister. Now, how does Google know of my weight when I am not using any of the smart watches or bands. 😁 I felt jittery :)

Though not a calorie conscious person but an exercise lover, this intervention from Google has changed me. Suddenly I have started googling for  low calorie foods. I come across some some fried recipes made without oil in appam patra. Wow, so now no one can stop me from getting back to my lighter version.

I ordered Prestige appam patra with 7 holes from apni dukan - Amazon. I tried three recipes and found all of them tasty minus the extra calories.

Rawa Fritters

1. Add one measure of roasted rawa / sooji.
2. Add half a measure of sour curd.
3. Add finally diced onion, tomato, boiled beans, green coriander and green chilies.
4. Add a pinch of baking soda.
5.Mix well till batter is lumps free.



6. Brush all cavities of appam patra with oil / desi ghee. Heat it mildly.



7. Put a spoon full of batter in each cavity of appam patra, taking care that it does not overflow and remains a little below the level.


8. Cover and cook. Check in between.


9 Reverse when cooked. Cook on both sides.




10. serve hot with tomato sauce or green chutani or any other spicy chutani or as part of your main meal.



Vadas

1. Soak and grind dhuli urad dal as you will do for regular vadas with saunf , ginger and garlic , green chillies or any other spice which you want to. You may add or delete any of these addendum as per your choice and special touch.
I like with saunf ( fennel) and ginger. The batter should be little thicker as compared to the one we use for frying.

2. Pour a spoon full of batter in the appam patra cavity and cook as explained earlier.


3. Take out when both sides are cooked .





4. Serve hot with sambhar as sambhar - vada.
5. Dip in cold salty water for 5 minutes. Place in a plate after squeezing lightly. Add slightly sweet and salty beaten curd enough to cover the vadas. Add red chillies, bhuna jeera, green coriander. Lo, the magical oil free with same wonderful taste Vadas are ready to eat.
6. I could not click pics as both my sons finish them so fast.  :)

Aloo Bonda

1. Make a thick , lump free batter of besan / chickpea flour with all the dry spices - salt, red chill, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala etc.

2. Mash boild potatoes and add salt to it. Also add finally chopped green coriander. No lumps may be left.


3. Make small balls from mashed potatoes and keep aside.


4. Dip potato balls in besan batter and put it in oiled cavities of appam patra.




5. Reverse and cook both sides well.



6. Take out and serve hot with green chutney, tomato sauce or khajur- tamarind chutney. I have used Fabsta chutnies, which I bought from Star Bazar. "Fabasta" is the brand owned by Star Bazar and one can find many variants of chutneys in the store. me and my family liked them a lot, thus freedom from making chutneys at home. Hurrey !!  :P


 Happy cooking !!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Lal Prantha

Beetroot , the red attractive taproot of beet plant was always known to be very healthy food but very difficult to eat and make children eat it. We used to have a large kitchen garden and  salad was always freshly procured . I used to eat everything in the salad, radish, turnip, carrot, tomatoes, cucumber, kakdi, spinach but beetroot was one vegetable, I never developed any taste for. Mom used to try different ways to add beetroot to my food.The only way, I could have beetroot was in tomato soup. Another way which mom used to try was addition of beetroot in carrot halwa to give it better colour and make us children eat.

A local restaurant in Ahmedabad, "Awadhpuri" serves beetroot chutney, which was the tastiest version of beetroot I have eaten till date. Another way of relishing beetroot which I have liked is julian beetroot in vinegar.

Beetroot, a taproot of  beet plant is classified as super-food. It's 88% water, 10% carbohydrates, 2% proteins and 1% fats. Beetroot is also rich source of minerals and vitamin A, B and C. It's rich in fibres hence good for digestion .

With fusion of foods and exposure to different cultures, beetroot is served in different and innovative ways.

Beetroot Juice

Borscht

Grated salad

This March, my son and his wife came home. Beetroot was available in inventory and they made  "Lal Prantha" for dinner. The beetroot stuffed parantha was just amazing. It was easy to make, tasty and nutritious. You may serve it with curd, achar/ pickle and tea. It was wholesome and filling.





Grate the beetroot and microwave the grated beetroot for 4-5 minutes, so that it dries and filling in the prantha becomes easier. Add salt to taste, amchoor and garam masala.








Take some flour, of the size of a table-tennis ball, fill with almost equal amount of filling. Roll out and cook with shudh ghee or refined oil just as any other prantha is cooked.












So, the prantha is ready. It is crispier if cooked on low fire and tastes better.













Serve with green chutney, daal dhokali , curd or with any pickle of your choice.







Happy cooking to you!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Vegetarian Omelette

It was the summers of 1992. I with my family have gone to Mahableshwar , a small and quiet town in those times.  We stayed in the company's guest house, with which my husband was associated at that time. It was an old heritage bunglow on a hilltop, with vast garden and green area. The soil was red and it was such an amazing sight to look at the plush green vegetation on the red soil.

We traveled from New Delhi to Mahableshwar via Pune and it was a long journey.
We traveled by night train and reached Pune early morning. From Pune, we took a cab and reached Mahableshwar in around two and half hours. The drive was beautiful, by the side of majestic Krishna river. The road , as far as I remember now was okay and we reached our destination in the afternoon. It was cloudy and cool, with pleasant breeze. We had our lunch and slept like log.

In the breakfast, one of the option was vegetarian omelette. One of theitems in breakfast was vegetarian omlette. I had heard about an omelette that's not made from eggs for the first time and thought of trying it. I had just turned vegetarian. 😑When the vegetarian omelette came, I found it to be "besan chilla" with onion, tomatoes and green chillies and fresh coriander. It appeared more or less like omelette and hence the name. 😏

Today, I was thinking of what to cook for breakfast, the idea of vegetarian omelette suddenly appeared like a déjà vu.  I have to pick an option that's suitable for two generations, where the generation gap is much. The generation gap is increasing with every next generation and I have to balance between grand father and grand sons. 😀 The vegetarian omelette satisfies the requirements of both.

I can serve my father simple 'besan ka chilla" as it will be easier for him to eat without the denture. Afterwards, I had added the finally chopped onion, tomato and fresh coriander to the batter to make the "vegetarian omelette".
Chopped onion, tomato and fresh coriander 

Add cut onion, tomato and coriander in besan batter,

Mix well to make a smooth batter.

The consistency of batter should be similar to that of dosa. It should be of falling consistency. Add salt to taste and a pinch of garam masala.  Heat the non-sticking dosa tawa. Add a spoon full of batter. Spread with the serving spoon or kadchi, used for adding batter on tawa/ girdle. If required, add slight oil or shudh ghee. I prefer ghee as I love it's aroma. You may cover it , though it's not  necessary.

Covered cooking traps the heat and steam, making cooking faster .

Cook on low flame till both sides turns pink and crispy.
Serve hot omelette with curd or sauce.


The chilla / omelette both come out very well and it was an easy and tasty option for breakfast today.Some had it with curd and some with sauce. It tasted good with both. 😋

I have added 1/4 rice flour as it lightens the besan ( chickpea flour) . Though besan is very healthy and full of proteins but pure besan chilla feels heavy for summer days. Rawa/ suji can also be added to besan to make it lighter. 

Try and have fun. let me know, how it turned out to be. 
If I can cook , you can cook better. Try.....














Monday, May 14, 2018

Raw mangoes - Make amchoor आमचूर / खटाई & aampanna आम-पन्ना

Aamchoor ( आमचूर ) or khatai (खटाई) is made from raw mangoes and is an important herb in Indian cuisine. I have been using the ready to eat amchoor  (mango powder) since I started managing the kitchen of my household when I got married , almost three decades and little more. Being a new entrant to the cooking, buying ready made branded masalas make the transformation from consumer (of cooked food) to producer ( of cooked food)  a little easier. I have used almost all available brands in the market since then.

Almost a decade and a half ago, a friend, who has a mango orchard sent few kilograms of  raw mangoes which were the result of an untimely storm. Some of you these days might be getting raw mangoes in huge quantities from your friends, who have orchards in north India, as huge storms are lashing the north India these days.😃

I needed a planning to make good use of such huge quantity. I planned to make panna  and mithi chatani which  my whole family were very fond of. Still I was left with almost 5 kg of raw mangoes. I thought of  making khatai.

Microwave oven had just entered my kitchen and I was looking for ways to experiment with it. During initial days, it was mainly used for warming up food. Though my house in Faridabad ( at that time I was there) had plenty of sunshine, but those were the cloudy days, hence I thought of using microwave oven to dry the raw mangoes.

Here's how to make amchoor from raw mangoes, the easiest way?

1. Peel the raw mangoes and cut them in thin slices.



2. Microwave the slices till they become dry enough to be powdered. It may take 5 minutes to 15 minutes depending upon the quantity. 



3. Once, the slices become dry enough, let them cool.



4. Now grind them to fine powder.


5. Your amchoor or khatai is ready to use. Store in a  cool dry place and enjoy the purity of home made masalas.

This home made khatai is tastier than the one bought from market and really  खट्टी  than the branded ones you use. If you add almost a spoon full for the required sour taste of the branded amchoor, you need to add just less than 1/4th spoon of this home made amchoor. Moreover, it's pure. Any powdered herb has more chances of adulteration.

We have used the slices of raw mango to make khatai or amchoor. Now, we are left with the seed / गुठलियां  of mango. We will be using them to make aam - panna.


AAM PANNA

1. Boil the गुठलियां  with water and a pinch of salt in pressure cooker . Decrease the flame after first whistle. Keep it on slow  heat for another 15 minutes.



2. Open the lid, once cooker has cooled down. Rub the pulp on boiled mango seeds into the water, they are boiled in. Remove the cleaned गुठलियां / mango seeds. Add jaggery, kala namak and bhuna jeera and heat it till jaggery is melted and dissolved. Once it's done, add fresh mint leaves and your aam panna is ready to  be served. 



So, do not miss these summers and make an excellent aamchoor and panna.
Happy cooking !!!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Khaman Dhokla - Instant and Easy

Kitchen is the most important part of the home as it satisfy the basic need of humans - "the hunger" of all family members. In olden days, mother was the whole sole in-charge of kitchen. She was the one who was responsible for the inventory listing, buying, planning a meal and most of the time cooking it too. With working women around, the kitchen happily witnesses the entry of males into it's domain.

With more and more boys and girls going out for career and studies, cooking has become a life-skill. I was never an enthusiastic cook but being a mother, I have none the less a big responsibility to feed two hungry young growing up boys. Being working and having limited time at hand for "kitchen", I need to find out ways to make tasty food with minimum efforts. This skill of making difficult cooking easy has grown with me and came in handy to boys when they went out to study and work.

With both boys flown out to find their own horizons into the big bad world, I was stagnant with my cooking skills as my husband and father were very simple eaters. And then the life has taken another turn and the boys came back home after almost a decade. Now the dormant cooking skills have come alive and I have to started checking the cooking resources on net.

Being in Ahmedabad, does not require me to cook khaman dhokla as one gets the best dhokla at every other outlet serving "nasta". But I am destined to learn this healthy food as my son asked if it can be made for the breakfast? I searched for "instant khaman dhokla recipe" and my favourite Tarla Dalal's video was peeping out of the google search page. I have a very passionate relationship with Tarla Dalal. Her cooking books were my saviours after my marriage as I was a no-cooking-knowledge wife. I did not know the names of daals, kneading atta for chapaties or poories , making round chapaties and so much more.  It's a long story and will share in some other post.

The video was so well explaining that my first effort of making khaman resulted in the best khaman ever.

Ingredients:
Besan - 1 Cup , Sooji - 1 Tb spoon , Salt, Sugar - as per taste , Tatri / nimboo ke phul - 1 tspoon , Eno salt sachet - 1, Ginger - garlic paste - 1tspoon.
Garnishing - green coriander and green chillies .



Mix besan and sooji. Let the mixture be passed through a sieve so that there are no granules in besan and paste is smooth. Add remaining ingredients except Eno. Add water just enough to make a batter of flowing consistency like Idli or pakoras.

Now get your steamer ready on stove. Grease the plates/ thalis .

Now add Eno sachet to the batter and add a table spoon of water on the Eno. (No one has told this so emphatically as Tarla ji ) As water is sprinkled on the Eno, mix it well with the batter and let it swell for a minute or half. Now pour the batter into the greased thalis. You can sprinkle the red chillies and coriander powder  and put the thalis in the steamer. Let them be their for ONLY 7 minutes. If you let them be there for more time, the khaman will sit and all the softness would have been gone.

Now let the khaman cool. Prepare the tempering in oil and sarson dana and til. Once tempering is cool, add a tablespoon of water and sprinkle on the plates. The water in the tempering will be absorbed by the khaman and it will be softer.

Cut and serve with green chutney.

It's made up with besan, which is protein rich. Being steamed, it's healthy.
It's a very easy and healthy recipe and can be made in breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's specially for all the new cooks out there, searching for easy recipes. 😃


These three most important precautions were only shared by Ms. Dalal.( May her soul rest in peace! )




Saturday, May 05, 2018

Atithi - Gujarati Thali - Review

Atithi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoIt was Friday yesterday. We usually avoid dining out on weekends, but yesterday was different and we felt like having thali - the famous Gujarati thali for diner. Most of the well known thalis like Agashiya, Gordhan, Pakwan and the latest addition to thalis brands, Anakut etc were already tried . With so many options available in the market, we avoid going to the same restaurant again, unless there is "compulsive eating disorder" for some food, only served at that place or some divine intervention guides me to repeat. 😋




A friend who is fond of foods and appreciates good food and have been in Ahmedabad for more than a decade once referred to Atithi, Bodakdev for Gujarati thali. Though  I have crossed Atithi a number of times, it's situated on one of the most busy main roads never even once did I thought of going inside. One of the main reason is that it's located on first floor . In one of the programmes about Ahmedabad on TV on some food channel, I remember the host had his meals here and was praising a lot. I discount such programmes 99 % due to their commercial compulsions, the information stuck with me.

Anyhow, yesterday, we went to Atithi for the Gujarati thali. The pleasant surprise was that it has shifted to ground floor. Even the parking was also not an issue. We reached around 8.30 pm. The capacity is very large and there was no waiting at all. The decor and ambiance is very simple. The main colour is white. It appears to be undergoing renovations. Expect a bigger and better Atithi in near future.

As soon as we settled, we were attacked by the army of "servers". Chatnies, both green and "imali ki saunth" were served first. Samosa, muthia and cutlet were the snacks served. Beetroot was also served and I could not make out why they served it? The most tasteless preparation of beetroot I have ever eaten. 😁.

Mohanthal was the only sweet served and in minimalist quantity. Even a repeat request took so long that I felt  like not requesting again. At one point of time, I thought they are doing a great service by controlling the calories of their customers and are taking care of their customer's health. But I have a large sweet tooth and I am happy with my weight, so I insisted again and again, till I am full till neck. 😤

Curries were the saviour . Chane / chole/ kabuli chane, paneer, aalu , bandgobhi matar , Gujarati kadhi and the divine aamras. All were appealing to taste buds and were not very spicy. My husband does not like chillies and he could eat comfortably. Generally, he opts for Jain thali just to be on the safer side and have less spicy and garlic free food. Yesterday, we forgot to opt for Jain thali. But thankfully, non have spices which he could not eat.

Three types of breads were served - poori, roti and bhakari. For rice eaters, an option of steamed rice and khichadi was there. I opted for khicadi as I relish kadhi with khichadi more than kadhi-rice combo.

The chaas / butter milk came when we were halfway through.

They have not kept water jugs or water bottles on the table and one has to ask for water every time glass is empty. I find it a good way of saving water and sensitizing people about the precious resource. #cuttingpani

Food as such was okay. A very routine thali menu. Nothing special and no negative points too. It will be great if they could add some sweetness to the menu and let it be accessed easily.



Monday, March 19, 2018

Cutting Pani

"Cutting Pani", as the name suggests is about water conservation or saving water.


Gandhiji has once said that "there is enough for everybody's needs but not everybody's greed."
I remember,as children, we (me , my sibling and friends) were always told to take as much water as one can drink. Do not waste water. Or even a single grain of rice too.

Those were the times when there were no water filters or ROs. We used to take water straight from the tap. My mother used to water our kitchen garden from the water left  from washing clothes and utensils. Recycling and minimizing wastage was the essence of life in those days. It was effortless and came naturally to us. Its still the same for me even now.

People of my generation (born in 60s) and our parents are still responsible about usage and conservation of natural resources. 

Since, we are talking about "Cutting Pani" , let me concentrate only about conserving water.
The kind of relationship, the young generation (specially in their30s and later)has with natural resources is very worrying. They have grown up with unrestricted exposure to the world through world wide web and booming economy at home front. The growth of materialism in society and  general degradation of understanding of age old values and ethics combined together have resulted in a mentality which thinks that money can buy anything. The respect and love for nature is also weighed in the same monetary balance. This has resulted in no regards what so ever for water resources too.


Water is one of the most precious and life essential resource but with limited supply. We all, as a race must take responsibility to use water carefully so that its available to all.
A very recent news about Cape Town's water woes is very worrying. If we do not take care of our future, who will?

Sometimes, I feel we as parents have not been able to teach enough good values to our next generation or is it the influence and uncontrolled exposure through internet which has diluted the ethics of our ancient culture,where we respected our water bodies and gave them respect as mother.   ( मां गंगा). 



The misuse of nature has been so much and so vast by humans that it's high time we all must stand up together and promise ourselves to not waste a single drop of water.
"Cutting Pani" actually conveys -
Cut wastage of water.
Cut consumption of water
In every aspect and by every humanbeing.
Let's all be "water-warriors" and adopt "cutting pani" as enthusiatically as we love "cutting chai" .

It's time to act....

 The link to the petition - https://www.change.org/p/cuttingpaani 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Turmeric Adulterations and other Informations



In my last blog post, I have mentioned about how to make pure turmeric powder from the raw haldi roots. It‘s so easy to make. But why should one go to do that extra effort?

Turmeric fields 
Turmeric is an important ingredient in Indian and South East Asian cooking. We use it in almost every vegetable and dals.  Its purity is important. Making dhaniya (coriander) and mirchi (red chillies) powders is easy and many of the households make it at home, though there are ever increasing kitchen managers, who are opting for the grounded masalas. I personally feel that, it’s easier to contaminate powdered spices than whole spices, so it’s good to opt for whole masalas and then ground them at home. Since it’s not always possible, it’s smart to check for any adulteration before using them.


How turmeric is powdered?
When not used fresh, they are boiled in water for about an hour and then dried in ovens.
They are then grounded to fine powder, packed and ready for consumption.

Why turmeric may be adulterated?
Adulteration is defined as an act of corrupting, debasing or making a substance impure by adding an inferior material, especially in preparation of items for sale by replacing the actual material with agents , less valuables. Food items are usually adulterated with inferior and harmful substances, many a time unfit for consumption. They are adulterated to improve visual appearance, increase volume and to increase shelf life.

Common adulterants in turmeric

Foreign substances like edible food colours and volume enhancers like starch or rice powder, which may not be harmful but decrease the potency of your turmeric powder.The chemical substances like Metanil yellow, chalk powder, metal ions, lead chromate and traces of solvent used in extraction and processing are harmful and not fit for human consumption.

 Metanil Yellow is a dye and is used in analytic chemistry. It's added to boost yellow colour of the turmeric powder, especially in India. (Wikipedia). Even small quantities can be very harmful as this is accumulated in body over a period of time. It's highly carcinogenic and is found to slow down brain's ability to learn and cause stomach disorders.

Lead is poisnous for humans. Its consumption even in very small quantities can cause constipation, anaemia, insomania etc which may manifest later in brain damage or mental retardation. It may contaminate turmeric during the growth of the herb or during processing. Various reports from India and Bangladesh have mentioned about lead contents in turmeric samples in such high quantities to cause soil and water contamination.

Lead Chromate is yellow in colour and is added to enhance the yellowness of turmeric. It's a toxic chemical and can cause wide range of harmful effects like paralysis, anaemia, nerve disorders, abortion and even brain damage.

Chalk powder is generally added to enhance volume. Its made yellow in colour before adding to the turmeric. It's not edible but is not as harmful as the chemical adultration but none the less, it's harmful.

Heavy metals may be from pesticides residue or contaminated soil and water as curcumin can easily bind to metals. hence some turmeric supplies can easily contain them and might exceed the safety limits. Stomach irritation, muscle and joint pain, vision problems, mental confusions and even short term dementia may be the resultsd of heavy metals on humans. Accumulation over a long period may result in serious issues like mental retardation, organ damage and risk of cancer.

Testing for Adulteration in Turmeric:

* One of the easiest method to check for adulteration in turmeric is to take a glass of warm water. Add a spoon full of turmeric powder. Do not stir. Leave it for some time. Check after 15-20 minutes. if powder settles down leaving a clear water above, it's pure.

* Mix a tea spoon of haldi in water. The streaks of water soluble colours will point to lead chromate. 

*Take one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a test tube / glass flask. Then add few drops of concentrated Hydrocholric acid (HCL) in it. If pink colour appears instantly but then disappears after adding some water turmeric does not have the artificial colour. But if it remains, it has Metanil yellow.

Turmeric flower
*Take small amount of turmeric. Add it into a test tube / glass flask. Add some water. Now add a few drops of concentrated HCL to it. If you witness effervescence then there is chalk powder present in turmeric.

Turmeric is an important ingredient of Indian and South eastern cooking. If by such a small effort, we can save ourselves and our loved ones, it's worth trying. Isn't it?

 We are looking forward to hear from you about your efforts and experiences!!


Photos are from google/internet. Credit goes to the creator.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Turmeric

This Sunday morning was reserved  for  fruits and vegetable shopping from "Star Bazar".  It's almost 9 km from my place, still I love to shop  my vegetable and fruits  from there. The huge quantities and freshness of the stock attracts me and I usually visit every fortnight. Yes, I bring huge stocks, which takes me through comfortably for twelve to fifteen days.
There are many regulars and after few visits , people have started recognizing each other - first an eye contact,  a smile , little conversation - "seen you after a long time, kahin bahar gaye they" or "all well" etc. It has become a place to make friends and too. Recipe exchange and cooking tips adds to knowledge and motivates one to experiment and try new things.

This February, I saw a yellow turmeric in huge quantity. Usually, white turmeric, which looks like ginger is much popular with locals. Yes, I have lived most of my life in north India and has settled in Gujarat now. We do not get raw turmeric in northern states as I have seen here. Actually, I have bought white turmeric a number of times, thinking it's ginger and used to wonder, why gujarati ginger does not have any ginger like smell. :)

During one "recipe exchanged programme" at "Star Bazaar", I came to know that raw turmeric cut in julienne and soaked in lime juice makes a very tasty and healthy accompaniment for meals.









While unpacking my vegetables and fruits at home, I thought of making fresh haldi powder at home.














I sliced the yellow turmeric and I got a plate full of slices.














I microwaved it for 30 minutes in total , in multiples of 10 minutes , three times. The golden yellow colour was awsome. During microwaving the slices, the whole kitchen was filled with sweet raw aroma of turmeric. The aroma of pure spices is awesome.





After a while, when it has cooled down, I grounded the dried microwaved slices of turmeric and became a proud owner of pure,fresh, home made owner of rich golden yellow turmeric with awesome aroma.

I never knew it was so easy to make "pure haldi" at home.

Since I live in an apartment and have sun only in the first half of the day, I need to microwave the slices to dry the fresh turmeric slices. If you have plenty of sun, they can be sun-dried and grounded.

Share your experiences about the process or cooking with this pure haldi. 
Happy cooking and happy spicing!!:)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tasty Kachori - Without the hard work

Kachoris ( lentil filled deep fried bread ) are a major part of "pakka khaana", a term used mainly in "Kayastha " cuisine. They are very tasty and every celebration , however small or big calls for "kachoris". But as they say no hardwork no fun, kachoris require pre-planning and much effort.

The original method:


  • The urad dhuli daal to be soaked overnight or at least for 4-5 hours, and grounded with ginger, chillies and saunf with minimum water to a fine paste.
  • This paste is to be roasted in oil with a tempering of hing, coriander powder and salt to taste. 
  • Chillies can be added, if required.
  • Once the paste is turned into small granules and dried enough for a filling , roll out poories with sufficient stuffing and deep fry.

My method:

  • Take 5 amritsari urad daal badiyaan. 


  • Grind them to a fine powder. Check for salt and add if required. No other spices are needed.

  • Knead approximately 1 cup of wheat flour ( with a tea spoon of ajwain, salt to taste, a table spoon of refined oil) with water. It should be as hard as for mathariyaan. 
  • Roll out the poories with the stuffing and deep fry in hot oil. 

  • Serve them with Imli ke aaloo or dry alu-matar vegetable and boondi ka raita for that wholesome celebrations.

  • Serve kheer for dessert with a kachori feast. 
Happy cooking!!!

Khubani ka Meetha ( Apricot Sweet)

This is rakhi time. Though with the availability of vast spectrum of sweets available off the counter, there is no comparison of the home m...