Fluffy Puffy Pooris- Indian Fried bread


2 cups of whole wheat flourimage(2)

1 Tbsp Semolina/ Ravaa

1 Tbsp oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Jaggery/Brown sugar

1 pinch of Love

1 cup of water or more as needed

Oil to fry

Mix the semolina in the whole wheat flour, add salt and sugar, mix with a fork or your fingers. Make a well in the middle

Heat 1 tbsp oil and pour it in the well, on the flour.

Let it cool, then mix well and gradually add water, with one hand, soft knead the flour , bring it together with the other hand.

its best not to add all the water at once, because every cup of flour reacts differently.

when there is no dry flour left, start kneading the dough together, into a tight ball, pliable but not too soft.

put a few drops of oil on your fingers and smooth out the dough.

cover it with a bowl, and set aside to rest for 15-20 mins.

Heat oil in a frying wok, on low heat, while you roll out all the pooris

you will not need flour to roll because the dough doesnt feel sticky, after the hot oil treatment. smooth it out once by kneading softly.

break off dough into the size of a small donut hole, and role it between your palms firmly and flatten.

roll out pooris and keep them ready on a platter, to be fried 2-3 at a time or one at a time, as per the size of your frying wok. the pooris will not stick to each other.

drop a tiny ball of dough in the oil to check, if it pops up right away, the oil is ready.

gently release the rolled poori in the oil from the side, so that the oil doesn’t splash.

it will start coming up to the surface and puffing up, press it gently with the slotted spoon, to let the steam building inside it spread edge to edge,

flip it to the other side and let it fry till golden pink,

scoop it with the slotted spoon, rest it on the side of the wok, to drain off excess oil.

place it on a platter or a colander to cool, repeat till all the pooris are fried.

Once you get the hang of it, you can fry 2-3 at a time and alternate, flipping the first one in.

serve hot with anything you like.

Kids love those with a dusting of cinnamon sugar too :)






Khamang kakadi (Indian Cucumber Salad)

Khamang kakadi (Indian Cucumber Salad)
A delicious maharashtrian salad, side dish, very cooling too.
2 Mavli Kakadi/ 4 Small cucumbers/ 1 medium English cucumbers
½ Cup Roasted Peanuts crushed image(17)
½ tsp Salt,
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ghee/oil
2 green chilies medium chopped
1 pinch of hing
1 Pinch of Love
Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
Cross mince the peeled cucumber by rotating while mincing from the top, and squeeze the excess water out
Add the roasted peanuts powder, salt, sugar and mix well
Heat the ghee ( oil if vegan) in a small wok, add cumin seeds and bloom, add a pinch of hing and a pinch of love, turn the heat off right away, add chopped green chili last, so that it doesn’t burn.
Add this seasoning to the mix, and stir well.
Serve with anything that is spicy, goes well with Pulao, Khichdi, or even hot rotis.

Soya Kala Masala

Soya Kala Masala
1 cup soya chunks
2 medium onionsimage(18)
7-8 garlic cloves
3-4 dry red chilly peppers
1/4 cup cilanto hand shredded
2 tbsp grated dry coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
1 pinch of love
Soak the soya chunks in warm water. You can add a pinch of salt to the water, gives a good flavor to the chunks
Pound the garlic in a pestle
Flash roast the grated coconut, add the chili peppers in the end and take it off the heat. 1 min is plenty
Roast the onions directly on the flame for 5 mins, let it cool.
Grind the roasted coconut n chilies in the grinder, add the roasted onions and cilantro to the same mix and grind to a coarse paste.
Chop the soaked soya chunks to smaller size if you like
Heat oil in a pan
Add the cumin seeds and bloom them
Add garlic, turmeric, garam masala and stir
Add the onion coconut paste and fry well until it looks glazed
Add the soya chunks and stir fry until the masala coats each piece, stir and fry on low heat for a couple mins.
Add salt, stir and cover, cook on low heat for 5 mins.
If you like to have a runny curry, add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, a pinch of love and serve steaming hot.
Serves 3-4 people
This is a good cheat meat curry ! Wonderful for Vegans


A simple, super yummy and popular side dish, that goes with anything, even as a dip, with corn chips 😊
1 medium Asian eggplantimage(19)
1 onion fine chopped
1 medium tomato fine chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander seeds powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
2tbsp Fresh chopped cilantro
Smear the eggplant with an oil swipe
Roast it well directly on the flame, uniformly by turning over to cover all around
Keep it covered under a bowl for 5 mins ( the steam makes the charred peels come off easily)
Take a small bowl of water to dip your fingers in, to prevent the peels from sticking to your hands.
Shred the roasted, peeled eggplant
Heat oil in a pan, bloom the mustard seeds,
Add turmeric, chilly powder, coriander powder
Followed by the chopped onion, tomato and half of fresh cilantro.
Flash fry, stir for a minute
Add the shredded eggplant, stir
Add salt
Cover it for 2 mins.
Serve garnished with fresh chopped cilantro and a pinch of love !
You can make this with japanese eggplants too
You can also just shred the roasted eggplant,
add fine diced purple onion, 1/2 tsp salt or as per taste
Put 1/2 tsp chili powder, don’t mix it yet
make the seasoning separately and add on top of the chili.
Mix well, add fresh cilantro
Add 2 tbsp of plain/ greek yogurt

Rathalee- Sweet Potatoes Dessert

Sweet Potatoes
4-5 medium sweet potato roots22026_869249109815891_8674139206427192270_n
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Malai / Fresh Cream
1 tsp Ghee
1/4 cup jaggery
1″ piece of cinnamon stick
1 pinch cardamom powder
1 pinch of love 😍
Wash and braise the roots
Chop the sweet potatoes in thin discs
Heat the ghee and add cinnamon broken in pieces
Add the chopped sweet potatoes and stir fast
Add jaggery and let it melt ( you can use brown sugar or demerara)
Add the cream and stir
Cook for 5 minutes on low heat
Add the milk, stir gently for a min.
Can be eaten hot and cold too
Cinnamon powder doesn’t work the same 😞
You can also try the same with squash or pumkin too

Classic Aloo Sabji

Classic Aloo
3-4 medium boiled potatoes11796175_869365463137589_5301259885028601265_n
1 onion Julienned
2-3 green chilies julienned
1 tsp Urad dal/ popped chana daal
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger garlic rough chopped
1 tsp fresh cilantro
2-3 sprigs kadhipatta/ indian curry leaves
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1 pinch Asafoetida/ hing
1 tsp lemon juice ( optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch of love
Peel and cube the boiled potatoes upon cooling
Heat oil and add the Urad dal, bloom the mustard and cumin seeds
Add ginger garlic paste, chilies and kadhipatta
As soon as it sizzles add the onions
Add turmeric and Hing, flash fry the onions for one minute.
( should stay crunchy, but not raw)
Add the potatoes and stir gently, folding the mix outside in
Takes altogether 5 minutes to assemble this when the potatoes are already cooked.
Add salt, fresh cilantro, a pinch of love and lemon juice.
Fold it once more and it is ready to be served.
with Masala Dosa also.

Classic Uppama

Classic Upama-
This all time favorite, instant snack, classic dish was also my launchpad into the culinary world, forced by my grandmothers.
1 cup fine Rava ( semolina)
1 medium onion fine diced11782397_875783222495813_124461850175308971_o
1 small red tomato (roma)
2-3 red chilli peppers
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp Urad Dal( butter lentils)
5-6 cashews halved
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 pinch Hing ( asafoetida)
1 pinch of love
1/2 lemon for juice
2 sprigs of kadhi patta( indian curry leaves)
1 1/2 cup of warm water
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Fresh grated coconut 2 tsp
Roast the semolina and keep it aside
Heat oil in a thick bottomed wok
Add the Urad dal and let it fry till pinkish
Add the cumin and mustard seeds and let them bloom, add cashews.
Add the chili peppers, grated ginger,diced onion and fine diced tomato, followed by curry leaves.
Add hing and briskly stir once.
Add the roasted semolina and stirr well folding it outside in and bottom of the pan to up
Roast for 2-4 mins
Add salt and sugar, and pour the warm water from the sides, with one hand while stirring with the other. Smoothen the lumps if any
Make a indented well in the centre and drizzle the ghee in. Fold the mix on top of it
Lower the heat and cover the wok
Let it steam for 3-5 mins.
Stir once and squeeze the lemon juice on top, mix.
Plate it in a nice mound, with an upturned bowl
Garnish with fresh fine chopped cilantro and fresh coconut
You can also add crisp Sev on top if you like.

Kesar Paantuas/Bengali Saffron Rasgulla

Kesar Pantua/Saffron rasgulla
For paneer-
1 ltr. Cow milk (3% makes best)11794129_875978095809659_2061638799544422954_o
1 tbsp lemon juice
Cheesecloth/ old kitchen towel
1 tbsp fine semolina/ rava
For syrup-
300 gms sugar
4 cups water
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp rosewater
1 pinch saffron strands
1 pinch of love
Boil the milk, add lemon juice to it as it foams
Keep stirring and add a couple tsp of water, it helps to split the milk faster.
Turn the heat off as soon as the solids separate
Strain it into a cheesecloth or an old kitchen towel. Tie it into a tight bundle and hang to drain. Squeeze it once when cooled to remove excess water. Drain for 20-30 mins.
Open the bundle, crumble it with fingers, breaking all lumps.
Add the fine semolina
Mix well and cover it with a plate and set aside for 10 minutes
Simultaneously prepare the syrup-
Add 4 cups of water to the sugar and boil on medium low heat.
Once it comes to a boil, add the 1 tbsp milk, to clean the sugar syrup,
Skim off the top if any muddly foam comes up.
Add the rosewater
To prepare the milk solids-
Knead the Chhenaa/ milk solids with the heel of your palm, folding in and out
Alternating with pressing it in with your knuckles,
Until it is super soft and no crumbs fall out of the milk ball.
Break it into small pieces and form them into tiny balls with your palms
Bring the sugar syrup to a boil and start gently putting these milk balls into the syrup, cover the pot and let it boil for 20-25 mins
Make sure the pot is wide enough for the rasgulla to roll around without breaking.
You can also use a pressure cooker, without the whistle
Keep a large bowl of cold water ready.
Gently transfer the rasgulla to cold water
Add a 1/2 cup water to the existent syrup, bring it to a boil and turn the heat off.
Add saffron strands to this syrup and let it cool.
Drain the cold water out of the bowl and add the rasgullas to the syrup,
Cool it and refrigerate
Serve cold

Bhutte Ka Keis

Bhutte ka Keis
A heart warming Malwa dish!
A Must Eat in the Indore itinerary.
4 large but tender Corn cobs
1 1/2″ fresh ginger root11822359_870108373063298_3254028367167254602_n
6-7 peeled garlic cloves
1 medium purple onion fine diced
4-5 green chili peppers
Fresh cilantro fine chopped( with the stalks)
1 lemon, juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp hing ( asafoetida)
1 pinch of Love
1/2 tsp salt
Break the cobs into halves and grate them on a medium hole grater
Pound the ginger garlic and green chilies coarsely
Heat oil in a thick bottom wok or frying pan
Add black mustard seeds and bloom them, add hing
Follow by adding ginger garlic and chilies, stir, immediately add the fine diced onion.
Flash fry for one minute and add turmeric
Add the grated corn and stirr well, add salt
Saute in open pan for 5 mins. Folding it briskly centre out to in.
This helps the excess moisture to evaporate faster.
When the mixture starts consolidating, lower the heat and cover the pan, let it cook for 4-5 mins.
Repeat folding it briskly again. Loosen the mix, by breaking it with a spatula in a quick chop/ shred movement
Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon and stir once.
Add the fine chopped cilantro and a pinch of love. Serve hot with a lemon wedge
You can add a pinch of Jiraman or Chat masala if you like.
Using generic corn will always give the best results. Sweetcorn tends to linger the sweetish taste.

Basic Glossary Of Spices

To share with all of you, in honesty, I have never ever cooked with a recipe, nor written one down in my life! This is the first time, that I have made an effort. I have smelled and tasted and would know exactly what ingredients have gone in that dish, or in what 652proportion, or quantity. I have always used the pinches and handfuls, where my friends and colleagues let me do that my way, and measured that in terms of Tsps  and Tbsps and cupful or half measures, the whole process was sure amusing.

This is a humble effort towards putting a glossary of terms and names together, a process to make things simpler for those who are across the globe and the ingredients are a bit difficult to find. Things that you can substitute the original component in a dish with, go brave, experiment, have fun, and do remember to add that “One Pinch of Love” to whatever you make.

Basic Spices:

Namak / Meeth : Salt

Sakhar/Cheeni/khaand/Shakkar: White Sugar

Gurr/Goll/Gudd: Jaggery

Lal Tikhat: Red Chili Powder

Haldi: Turmeric

Jeera: Cumin seeds

Methi dana: Fenugreek Seeds

Kali Miri : Black pepper Corns

Mirpud: Black pepper powder

Hing: Asafoetida ( a resin)

Mohari/ Raii : black Mustard seeds

Mohari Daal: Split hulled Black mustard seeds

Dhania: Coriander seeds

Gota Khobre: Dry coconut

Dalchini: Cinnamon

Velchi/Elaichi/Veldoda: Green Cardamon

Doda Elaichi: Black Cardamon

Jaiphal: Nutmeg

JaiPatri: Mace

Tamalpatra/ tejpatta: Bay Leaves

Kalaunji: Nigella seeds/onion seeds

Badaain/Chakriphool: Star Anise

Badi Saunf: Fennel

Kashmiri Saunf: Anise

Ajwaain/Ovva: Carom seeds/ bishops weed seeds/thymol seeds

Lavang/Laung: Cloves

Shahjeera: Black cumin seeds/Caraway

Khuskhus: Poppy seeds

Anardana: dried Pomegranate seeds

Chinch/Immlii: Tamarind

Safed Till: white sesame seeds

Kala Till: Black sesame seeds

Kasuri Methi: dried Fenugreek leaves ( tender shoots)

Kessur/ Keshar: Saffron

Sarson: Red/yellow Mustard seeds

Saunth: Dry ginger

Amchoor: Dry raw mango (powder)

Patthar/dagad Phool: Rock flower ( a kind of moss found in the mountains)

Soppa/Shepa: Dill Seeds