June 28, 2019

Kasuri Methi Theplas / Parathas

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Theplas are an integral part of a gujurati cuisine . Theplas due to their long shelf life are good to carry for picnics, long journey spanning 2 or 3 days and even as a stand by at home during hectic and busy days .
For working women,theplas are really a boon as they can be made over the weekend and used during the weekdays.  The dough is already kneaded with spices which makes it flavorful and doesn't really need a side dish to go with . Any spicy pickle and a cup of yogurt are commonly served, else a spicy potato curry is the best combination.

During winters fresh chopped Methi (fenugreek) and grated Bottle gourd (Doodhi) are added to the dough to make Methi Thepla or Doodhi Thepla.

Today, we shall see how to prepare theplas using Kasuri Methi I.e dried methi leaves which are stored for use during off season.

Preparation Time : 10 -15 mins
Resting Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 2 mins per thepla
Makes : 13-14 theplas
Complexity  : Medium

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp curd
2 tbsp besan / gram flour
1 tsp haldi / turmeric
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tablespoons  kasuri methi
Salt as needed
Oil to fry the theplas


  • Soak the kasuri methi in warm water for about 5 mins.
  • Squeeze the water from the methi and put in a wide mixing bowl.
  • Add in the haldi powder , red chilli powder and salt to the kasuri methi and mix it well with your fingers to release the flavor and essence of methi .
  • Add the wheat flour, 1 tablespoon oil,curd to this kasuri methi and knead a soft but pliable dough by adding water at intervals .
  • Coat it with some oil and knead again and keep covered with a tight lid or a muslin cloth and set aside for 15 mins. 

  • Pinch out small balls from the dough , dust it with some dry wheat flour and roll it into thin rotis using a rolling pin.
  • Heat a tawa or griddle and put the rolled out thepla on the hot tawa .
  • Cook on one side with a little oil and flip over.  Do it on low flame. 
  • Drizzle some more oil and cook the under side until it is well cooked.
  • Use oil little generously if you want to keep the theplas for 3 or 4 days . The oil will ensure the theplas won't get spoilt. 
  • Take it off the pan and store it in a container or wrap in aluminum foil .

June 26, 2019

Aloo Simla Mirch Sabji | Potato Capsicum Stir Fry (Vegan)

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Aloo Simla Mirch sabzi goes well with rotis , Naan , Parathas or even puris . A very common sabji in a North Indian Platter . Generally this is a Sukhi(Dry) Sabzi and is paired with some variety of Dal to complete a meal.
There are different methods in which this sabji can be prepared as every household will have a traditional and secret recipe which is being followed from ages .
The secret ingredient in my recipe which lifts the flavor of this dish is amchoor powder or a sprinkle of chat masala in the absence of amchoor(Dry Mango) powder .

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity: simple

3-4  medium sized potatoes
2 medium sized capsicum/green bell pepper
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder
1/4 tsp amchoor powder/ chat masala
Salt as needed
Pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp mustard
2 -3 tsp oil


  • Peel and wash the potatoes and cut them into medium sized cubes.
  • Remove the seed portion from the capsicum and cut them into medium sized pieces .
  • In a pan, heat oil and crackle the mustard seeds and asafoetida. 
  • Add the chopped potatoes and capsicum with salt,haldi and red chilli powder and toss it well till the oil and spices coat the cubes well.
  • Sprinkle some water and cook covered on medium flame .
  • Open the lid after 5 mins and lightly stir it and sprinkle water if needed. 
  • Donot pour water as it will become mushy.  We need well cooked potatoes and capsicum with the crunch factor intact. 
  • It will take about 15 -20 mins to get done well. You may have to sprinkle water 2-3 times or more depending on the quality of the potato and the time it takes to get cooked. 
  • Lastly when the sabji is ready, sprinkle some amchoor powder or chat masala and toss it well.
  • Serve hot with rotis, pooris or even pair it with simple kadhi chawal or dal chawal with some roasted papads.

South Indian Lunch - Thali #1

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Often there are times when we have had heavy and rich food for a few days and we crave for something light but healthy too .
When we say light food , it necessarily doesn't have to be tasteless or bland . Today ,I shall present to you a simple south Indian Saatvik Thali which is a balanced platter at the same time light on stomach and aids digestion. Incorporating this kind of meal , once a week is very beneficial for maintaining good health and remain fit.
 (Recipe links are given below )

This platter consists of

Piping hot Rice with ghee - A drop of ghee with rice is very essential as it acts as a lubricant,enabling easy digestion .Ghee is so known to clear our digestive system and prevents accumulation of gas and bloating of our body.

 Vethakuzhambu - Tamarind based gravy ; meaning reduction of tamarind extract with necessary spices .

Tomato Rasam - South Indian tomato soup with a blend of spices and tomato puree.

Mix Vegetable stir fry  - A simple stir fry curry using potatoes,carrot and peas with a seasoning of mustard seeds , salt and very little chilli powder for spice factor.

Last but not the least, fresh Alphonso Mangoes and a glass of chilled Buttermilk .

June 25, 2019

Tomato Omelette - Vegan Breakfast

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Omelette and Vegan...does not sound very pleasing right??  Yes, it definitely is confusing when you hear the word Omelette . Tomato Omelette is a very famous cuisine from Maharashtra and gets it name because of its appearance but has no egg or by products of egg as an ingredient. Infact, the main ingredient is chick peas flour /besan / kadalaimaav .
A batter is prepared using the gram flour and is topped with finely chopped green chllies, tomatoes,coriander and even some grated ginger. A very filling breakfast which is loved by most college and office goers . Severed with toasted bread and some green chutney or tomato sauce, you are sorted for the day .
If you aren't calorie conscious and follow Vegan diet , you can top it with a dollop of butter to enjoy all the more  .

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 3 mins per omlette
Makes : 5-6 omelettes
Complexity: simple

2 cups besan /gram flour
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
Handful of coriander chopped
Salt as needed
Pinch of asafoetida
Water to make batter
Oil to cook the omlette


  • In a wide mixing bowl , add the flour and water and prepare a lump free batter.  Batter to be of pouring consistency. 
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes,green chillies, coriander, salt and asafoetida to the  batter and mix well. Let the  batter rest until the tawa gets heated up.
  • Heat a tawa, pour a ladle full of batter and gently spread it . Dont stretch too much,else it won't retain the shape.
  • Drizzle some oil and cook on medium flame until well done and then flip over and cook. 
  • Serve hot with chutney or sauce and even with some toasted bread .

June 22, 2019

Chutney Pulao - Vegan One Pot meal

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Pulao varieties are very easy to prepare at the same time filling and healthy too. I keep experimenting with different flavors of pulao but this particular Chutney Pulao was in my to do list for a long time since I had tasted it at a fine dine restaurant. The refreshing flavor of mint and coriander chutney elevates and adds a different touch to the taste of pulao .

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity: Medium

June 21, 2019

Karamani Sambar | Lobia /Black eye peas South Indian Gravy

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Karamani/ Lobia /Chawli / black eyed bean is a very high protein Bean and very good for growing children who need to have protein intake regularly.
I have already posted a north Indian gravy Lobia Masala with a flavor of mint in my blog which is a very good accompaniment for Rotis or Parathas .
Today, we shall see how to prepare a Sambar - south Indian gravy using these beans .
Perfect for monsoon weather when we don't get good leafy vegetables or even regular vegetables are not upto the mark due to rains and weather conditions.

Soaking Time : 4-5 hrs
Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 3-4

June 17, 2019

Thengai Podi | Coconut powder for idli Dosa (Vegan)

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Thengai podi is another version of chutney powder that goes well with Idli, Dosas or even hot rice with ghee.  The roasted coconut gratings gives a wonderful flavor to the chutney powder and enhances the taste . There are other varieties of chutney powders like Idli Molagapudi, Hurigadle Podi (fried gram powder ) and Verkadalai Podi (groundnut powder) in my blog which are traditional and superb accompaniments for Idlis and Dosas in South Indian homes .
Some people make this Thengai podi only using channa dhall or only udad dhall but I have used a combination of both the dhalls.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Roasting Time : 7- 8 mins
Grinding Time : 5 mins
Complexity  : Medium

June 16, 2019

Basundi - Traditional Indian Dessert (under 10 mins)

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Basundi is a traditional and famous Indian dessert famous in Gujarat and Maharashtra regions of India . This dessert makes use of full fat milk and the milk is simmered on a low flame with regular stirring and when the milk is reduced to half and appears creamy sugar is added and it is garnished with dry fruits, saffron and cardamom powder . The traditional method of making this recipe is time consuming and needs a lot of patience .

Today , I will present to you the microwave version using condensed milk and the dessert can be ready in 10 mins flat . This , very rich dessert can be quickly prepared in case of unexpected guests or sudden sweet cravings .
Always use full fat milk or a cream rich milk for the  best experience. 

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 10 mins
Serves - 3-4
Complexity  - Simple

500ml full fat milk boiled
400 ml condensed milk
2 tsp sugar
Roughly chopped badams(almonds)and pista (pistachios)
1 tsp cardamom powder
Few strands of saffron/kesar


  • Take the boiled milk and condensed milk in a wide microwave safe bowl.
  • Add a few strands of saffron and mix them all well.
  • Microwave it for 5 mins. 
  • Take it out , stir it well , add the dry fruits , cardamom powder and microwave again for 5 mins 
  • Take it out , mix well, add 2 tsp of sugar and microwave for just 1 more min.
  • Allow it to cool down to room temperature and then chill it in the refrigerator or serve it warm .
  • If you want it slightly more thick,then microwave it for another 2 or 3 mins till you reach the desired consistency. 

Notes :
Preferably use the glass bowls which are microwave safe as it can withstand the heat well.

The bowl should be wide and have enough space so that the milk mixture doesn't over flow while cooking.

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June 15, 2019

Rajma Pulao - Vegan Meal

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Rajma Chawal is a staple delicacy in Punjabi households and is a part of their Sunday or holiday menu invariably.

Rajma pulao for me was inspired from this rajma chawal as hubby somehow doesn't like the RC combo . Surprisingly this pulao was welcome as he is a die hard Pulao / Biryani fan . I haven't use ghee or curd while preparing this pulao, hence it is ideal for Vegans as a wholesome meal.

You may also want to try the classic Rajma Masala from the Indian kitchen or the Mexican Bean Rice from the Mexican cuisine which are my personal favorites and I can eat them anytime. 

Soaking Time - 8- 10 hours
Preparation Time - 40 mins (incl pressure cooking rajma)
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Serves - 3 - 4 people

50 gms or 2 handful of rajma
(Kashmiri or jammu variety is really good small and cooks well)
1.5 cups basmati rice
2 tomatoes finely chopped
2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 green chillies slit
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp haldi
1 tsp jeera
2 cloves
2 bay leaves/ tej patha
Small stick cinnamon
Salt as needed
Pinch of sugar
Coriander for garnish
2 tablespoons oil

  • Soak the rajma overnight or atleast  8- 10 hrs in clean water .
  • Pressure cook the soaked rajma with 2 cups of water for 6-7 whistles or until soft . It should not become mushy.
  • Wash and soak the rice for 15 mins and then drain it in a colander and keep aside .
  • Heat oil in the pressure cooker and crackle the jeera , cloves , cinnamon and bay leaf until you feel a good aroma.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes, ginger, chilli along with haldi , chilli powder and garam masala powder and cook until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy .Add some salt. 
  • Add in the cooked rajma and drained rice and mix well.
  • Add 2.5 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  • (Adjust water depending on the quality of rice) 
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook on medium flame for 2 whistles. 
  • Let the pressure subside , open it and fluff it with a fork . Let it rest for a few mins.
  • Serve hot with raita and some roasted papads.

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June 14, 2019

Fajeto | Aam Kadhi - Gujurat Special

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Fajeto is a classic Gujarati cuisine made out ripe mango juice , curds and gram flour with the right amount of spices and tempering.
Ras Puri is very famous among the Gujaratis during the Mango Season and most of the households make this Fajeto to complete the meal of Ras puri.  With very mild spices and no oily base , this kadhi is very light on the stomach and easily digestible.

Preparation  Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 10 mins
Serves - 3-4
Complexity  - Easy

June 12, 2019

Kaju Matar Masala | Peas & Cashew Gravy - Vegan

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Kaju Matar Masala is an exotic and rich gravy made using sweet peas and cashew nuts . A purely vegan gravy as it doesn't use cream, milk or curd which are normally used in a standard north Indian gravy. 

Kaju Matar Masala is an exotic and rich gravy made using sweet peas and cashew nuts . A purely vegan gravy as it doesn't use cream, milk or curd which are normally used in a standard north Indian gravy. , kaju matar masala , cashew peas gravy , mattar kaju , kaju matar gravy , cashew curry for roti , vegan cashew curry

The richness for this gravy comes from a spice mix made using fresh coconut and cashews blend with some tomatoes and other dry spices . Along with being Vegan , as usual it is my specialty of presenting a No Onion No Garlic version, hence it is apt for offering as prasad or bhog during any pooja or auspicious days .

I had tasted this curry once at a wedding reception as a child and I was floored by the richness and creamy texture.  I fell in love with this and my mom recreated this curry for me at home with some soft fluffy fulka rotis to go with. 

Today after so many years, I am recreating her recipe and am totally happy with the outcome.  We all relished this with some tasty Kasuri Methi Theplas for dinner. 

Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cooking Time - 20 -25 mins
Serves - 2 to 3 people
Complexity  - medium

June 11, 2019

Maavinkaai Chitranna | Maangai Saadham | Raw Mango flavored Rice

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Maavinkaai Chitranna is a famous delicacy from Karnataka and is made in almost every household during the Mango Season . The tanginess of mango when blended with proper spices and mixed with hot rice is totally flavorful and very very tasty. The addition of peanuts gives an extra crunch to the rice.  Fried cashews can also be added to make it look rich; but peanuts gives the rice a traditional touch.
During the mango season you can make this rice using fresh mangoes but during off season , Mango thokku or Maangai Thokku can be used to prepare this rice and can be enjoyed . To know how to make mangai thokku , refer to this link .

Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cooking Time - 30 mins
Serves- 3-4
Complexity  - medium

June 07, 2019

Aloo Mutter Pulao | Alu Matar Pulav

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Aloo Matar or Peas potato gravy is a very famous accompaniment for rotis , naan ,paratha or even the flavorful jeera rice or veg pulao .
Today , we will infuse the same flavors of the gravy and prepare a tasty pulao. This needs just a simple accompaniment like raita or khadi to go with it . The pulao has a burst or flavors and can be felt each time you savor a spoonful of it in your mouth.

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time- 20 mins
Serves - 2-3
Complexity- simple

1.5 cups rice ( Basmati or regular raw rice)
2 medium sized potatoes
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 tsp ginger finely grated
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
2 green chillies slit
1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder
1.5 tsp pav bhaji masala or garam masala
1 tsp jeera
1/4 tsp Saunf
2-3 cloves
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon ghee (omit for vegan version)
Salt to taste


  • Chop the tomatoes finely and keep aside. 
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into medium sized cubes 
  • Wash the rice and soak for 15 mins then drain it in a colander and keep ready .
  • In a pressure cooker , heat the oil and crackle the jeera , saunf ,cloves until you get a nice aroma .
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes , green chillies, ginger, haldi powder, red chilli powder and mix well .Do it in low flame else the masalas will burn.
  • Let the tomatoes cook until mushy and soft .
  • Add the pav bhaji masala or garam masala and cook for 1-2 mins.
  • Now add in the peas and potatoes, saute and mix well .
  • Add the drained rice and lightly mix it such that the rice doesn't break.
  • Add the required amount of water depending on the rice you are using.
  • ( Basmati rice- 1 cup rice will need 1.5 cups water .Sona masuri rice- 1 cup rice will need 2 cups water
  • Add salt as required and pressure cook it on low flame for 1 whistle. 
  • Let the pressure release normally and then carefully open the cooker and fluff the rice. 
  • Pour the tablespoon of ghee for added aroma.  (Skip if making vegan variation)
  • Serve hot with raita or khadi and some  papads or chips.

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June 05, 2019

Tomato Poha Dosa | Tomato Rice flakes Crepes

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This was another spot invention or rather innovation in my kitchen this night for dinner . I had my Aval Dosa or Poha Dosa batter ready to be used for dinner , but suddenly when I saw piping hot sambar and chutney ready , I felt there should be some spice element to the dosa too which will enhance the dinner experience.  It was quite late to prepare aloo masala to make masala dosas, so I made a spicy puree of tomatoes and added it to the batter with a garnish of finely chopped coriander and a tangy and spicy tomato dosa was ready .

Soaking Time - 3 hrs
Grinding Time - 20-25 mins
Fermentation Time - 7-8 hrs
Cooking Time - 2 mins per dosa
Makes 10-12 dosas.