Friday, July 3, 2015

Red pepper soup

When we need something warm and comforting on a rainy evening, then soup is the answer.

This pepper soup was an inspiration from a picture in a cookbook which I was sifting through.

Then I saw a some fresh peppers in the market and voila!

Serves- 2 large portions

  1. Pasta (any shape)- 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  2. Red pepper/ Red color capsicum- 5
  3. Garlic- 2-3 cloves
  4. Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  5. Shallots- 2, chopped fine
  6. Vegetable broth- 1 cup
  7. Black pepper- 1/4 tsp or as per taste
  8. Salt as per taste


  • Boil the pasta till al dente. Reserve the water.
  • Grind the peppers and garlic together with 1 tsp of olive oil to a puree.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil. Saute the shallots in it.
  • Pour the puree into the pot. Add vegetable broth and salt. Mix and cook for a few minutes.
  • Now add the pasta with the water reserved. Cook for a few minutes. Add black pepper.
  • Taste and check for salt and pepper.
  • Serve hot for a fulfilling meal.
  • It'll go great with some cheesy garlic bread, or buttered french bread even some plain boiled rice.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Gaund ra Laadoo / Goond ke laddu / Sweet Wheat flour balls with Indian edible gum

This is a recipe which brings back happy winter memories. Since I now live in a coastal town, the rainy season is about as cold as it gets here. Nonetheless, the taste of home is priceless!

A number of varieties of laddoos (and other delicacies) were made at our house over the cold winter months which lasted from November till early February.

These gond laddoos were one of the staples. My mother and my aunt would make a large batch and store in a stainless steel containers. They were ready snacks for the kids in the house. I used to love them and trade them for breakfast many times. A glass of hot milk and 1 laddoo and my breakfast was done.

Gond is an ingredient which is used in traditional foods like laddoos and panjiri given to newly lactating mothers.

It is also considered to be heat producing and hence widely used in winters.

Whole wheat flour- 2 katori
Goond/ Gaund- 1/4 katori
Sugar (powdered)- 1 and 3/4 katori
Cardamom (Powdered)- 5
Kali mirch/ black pepper- 1tsp (you can use whole or crushed ones)
Dry fruits- 1/2 katori , a mix of almonds, pistachios and cashews
Saffron strands -1 pinch  (optional)
Ghee- 5 and 1/2 tbsp

Melt the 1 tbsp ghee in a thick bottomed pan.
Add the gond crystals to the heated ghee. It will puff up into whitish balls.
Remove from pan and crush it with a rolling pin /belan
In the same pan, add the remaining ghee and let it melt.
Roast the whole wheat flour on a medium low flame. Stir it constantly till it roasts well. The house will be filled with a nice aroma to warm everyone's heart.
Add the gond and dry fruits to this mix. Remove from heat.
Let it cool enough for you to touch with hands. Now mix in the sugar, Cardamom, saffron and kaali mirch.
Mix it well and press it into the shape of lemon sized balls.
Makes about 18-20 small laddoos.

Note: If the mixture is too dry or crumbly, add some hot melted ghee spoon by spoon. Mix till u get it right.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rainy season and cupcakes- Egg free Apple cinnamon cupcakes

Its raining, its pouring....and we are baking cupcakes!!

Occasionally it rains sooo much that you need to bake something....anything.

Okay, that's probably my excuse for baking these cupcakes...but they are good and my little one is relishing these little beauties.

Cinnamon apple cupcakes

Ingredients (adapted from Divinetaste)
Apple (green)- peeled, cored and chopped
Sugar- 3/4 cups
Baking soda- 1tsp
Butter- 100 gm
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Whole wheat flour- 3/4 cup
White flour- 1/2 cup
Cinnamon powder- 1/2 heaped tsp
Vanilla essence- 2tsp


  1. Pour 3 tsp water in a pan and add the chopped apples..cook till soft.
  2. Pre-heat the oven at 150 degree centigrade.
  3. Mix well the baking powder, cinnamon powder, wheat flour and white flour, sieve them together.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar.
  5. Blend the cooked apples and mix baking soda in it.
  6. Now add the apple puree to the butter and sugar mix.
  7. Add all the dry ingredients to this mixture. Add vanilla essence.
  8. You will get a thick batter, do not overbeat.
  9. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners.
  10. Bake for 25 min or till the skewer comes clean.
  11. Enjoy warm. You can refrigerate it and re-heat it, but it taste best when its fresh.
I have not used any icing here, but a small amount of glace icing with lemon should taste good.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nimbu pudina sherbet / Lemon mint-ginger cooler

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it
 - Russell Baker

It beats us down with heat......
We need solace from the hot winds and the harsh sun......
We need shady trees and cool evening breeze.....
We need a lot of breaks......

But mostly we need to quench our unending thirst time and again.
And thus, the season of lazing around begins....

Lemon mint ginger sherbet 

You will need
Indian lemon or lime- about 14 in number
Mint leaves- 1 cup, cleaned and washed well
Sugar- 250 gm
Water- enough to cover the sugar.
Ginger- 2" piece (optional)
Kala namak/ red salt- 1 tsp

Take sugar and water in a pan. Keep it on low flame till the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for a minute or so.
Remove from flame to cool till room temperature.
Remove the seeds and squeeze the juice out of lemons or alternatively, strain the juice.
Blend the mint leaves with ginger. Do not add water. Add lemon juice if required.
Add the lemon juice and mint-ginger mix to the sugar syrup and mix.
Your sherbet is ready!

To serve
Pour about 1 tbsp syrup in a glass.

Add ice cubes if not using chilled water.

Add water or soda (if you like)
Add some more red salt..adjust to your taste.

Garnish with mint leaf and serve. You can also add a slice of lemon to it.

Enjoy the summers!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lauki Ke kofte- Bottle gourd dumplings in tomato-curd gravy

Plant a radish, get a radish,
never any doubt, thats why I love vegetables,
You know what they are about!
-Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt

Vegetables are the best thing to eat...everyone knows that. But sometimes you need to add a little twist to them for creating new...psst...also you need to hide it for little ones to eat.

That's when you take a homely bottle gourd and elevate it to the princely kofta status.

You will need

For koftas
Lauki/ Dudhi/Ghiya/ bottle gourd - 1, medium, grated
Besan/ chickpea flour- 4 tbsp
Green chillies- 1 or 2, chopped fine
Salt- 1/3 tsp
Adrak /Ginger- 1/2 " piece, grated
Coriander/ Dhaniya leaves - 2 tbsp (optional)
Oil- for frying

Mix all the ingredients of koftas/ dumplings except oil and leave it for 5 min for the chickpea flour (mota besan) to absorb water. If your chickpea flour is ground fine then you don't need to leave it.

Heat oil in a wok/Kadhai.

Take the mixture in a spoon and pour in the oil. Cook on medium flame, till the kofta changes color to golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and keep aside on a paper towel.
Make in batches.

 For gravy
Tomatoes- 2, medium
Green chili- 1
Adrak /Ginger- 1" long
Curd- 1/2 cup
Coriander seed powder/ Dhaniya powder- 1 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp or to taste
Haldi/Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder- 1/4 tsp
Oil- 1/2 tbsp
Heeng /asafoetida powder- 1 pinch
Jeera / cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp

Blend tomatoes. ginger and green chilli together in a blender.

Heat oil in a Kadhai.

Add a pinch of heeng and jeera /cumin seeds. Let the seeds sizzle and brown.

Add the tomato mix and let it cook for a few minutes. Add salt and haldi powder.

Take curd in a mixing bowl. Add dhaniya powder and red chili powder. Mix it together.

When the tomato mix is cooked, add the curd mix and keep stirring for a minute or till it comes to a boil. Even if it does boil over, keep mixing for a few minutes. The oil will come on the top. If you feel the gravy is drying out, then add water. I added about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water.

Add koftas to the gravy and serve hot.

Enjoy hot with Rotis or paranthas.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Grilled Sandwich on a Sunday morning

I love sandwiches. Let's face it, life is better between two pieces of bread. ~Jeff Mauro, a.k.a. The Sandwich King

Let's go a little easy this Sunday.....
No elaborate brunch, no fancy dishes...just a comforting sandwich. 
Easy to put together, especially when you have 4 people at home eating at 4 different times. You can serve these hot, every single time!

Happy family secret..;)

You will need
Onions- 1, medium, chopped
Tomatoes- 1,medium, chopped
Cucumber- 1, medium , chopped
Capsicum- 1 tbsp, chopped
Sweet corn- 1 tbsp
Black olives- 5, chopped finely
Olive oil infused with basil and rosemary- 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Black pepper- 1/2 tsp or to taste

Mix all the stated ingredients for the filling.
Put it between two pieces of bread and grill it.
Dip it in mustard sauce or ketchup and enjoy your Sunday.

You can also enjoy basil pesto sandwich or try the tasty sandwich. This curd filling sandwich is also a winner with me, plus you don't need a grille for it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kundru/tindora/tendli stir fry- no onion, no garlic recipe

Plant a radish, get a radish, never any doubt. That's why I love vegetables, you know what they're about! ~Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

All green veggies, (when fresh!) are a hit with me and this simple kundru dish is no different. I instantly admired it for its crunch and bite. It is one of the staples in my kitchen.

This is an easy and quick recipe for a light meal. It serves well as a side.

You will need
Kundru- 250 gm,cut into long strips
Tomato- 1 medium, chopped
Salt- 1/2 tsp or to taste
Haldi/Turmeric powder- 1/4th tsp
Dhaniya powder- 1 heaped tsp
Red chilli powder- 1/4th tsp
Heeng/ Asafoetida powder- 1 pinch
Jeera/Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 1/2 tbsp

1. Heat oil in a wok.
2. Add heeng and jeera. Let jeera sizzle and brown.
3. Add Kundru. Toss it around on a medium flame. Cover and cook on a low flame for a few minutes. Check often.
4. Add all the masalas/spice mixes and the chopped tomatoes. Turn and mix the vegetable.
5. Cover and cook for a few minutes more. The tomatoes will turn mushy. Check if you can cut the kundru slice with a spoon. If you can do it easily, it means its done. If you cannot, it needs a little more cooking time.
6. Serve hot with Chapatis/ Rotis or pack in the Lunchbox/Tiffin.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shell Pasta with mixed peppers and black olives

"What do you want for dinner?"

"Paastaa!!" (the little one cries out)

I smile...She has shared my love for pasta. She wants it almost every week now.

I keep the pasta for boiling . 

"I want to see pasta." 

"ok, but you can't touch anything"

"Put tomatoes"

"I will. Now sit and watch."

"Don't put vegetables"


I chop basil

"What is that?"

A glimpse of the chitter - chatter which goes on when I cook for my daughter. I just put a few ingredients together and came with this simple but satisfying recipe. The best thing was that it was really enjoyed by my little one. She even took second helpings (my inner domestic goddess was dancing!).

You will need
Pasta - 1 and 1/2 cups
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Tomatoes- 4 medium,chopped finely
Fresh basil- 2-3 tbsp, chopped finely
Mixed pepper strips - 2 tbsp
Broccoli florets- small, 1/2 cup approx.
Black olives- 5, chopped like small rings.
Black pepper- 1 tsp
Kosher salt- 1 tsp  or according to taste (you can use normal salt also)
Olive oil- 1 tbsp

Cook pasta till al dente. Add turmeric powder while boiling.
Take a wok. Pour olive oil and heat on low flame.
Add Broccoli and mixed pepper strips and cook for a few minutes.
Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. cook for 4-5 minutes. I just wanted to release flavours but if you want a sauce like consistency then cook tomatoes for longer.
Add the cooked pasta. Mix well. Taste for adjustments in salt and pepper.
Serve and enjoy with your loved ones.

Yields 2 hearty servings

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Focaccia Bread

This is one of the tastiest breads that I have ever had, and I have always found it very easy to make.

I stumbled upon this recipe on Anushruti's blog and have never looked back. My own recipe is adapted from the stated one.

You will need

For bread
Atta /Whole wheat flour- 2 cups
Maida / white flour- 1 and 1/4 cups
Full fat Milk- Warm (not hot) 1 and 1/3 cups
Olive oil- 1/8 cup and some to grease your palms
Instant yeast- 1 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Sugar- 1 tsp

For the topping
Olive oil- 1/4 cup
Heeng/Asafoetida- a pinch ( you can add more if you like)
Basil - 2 Tbsp, chopped

How to make the Bread
Take atta and maida in a mixing bowl. Add salt, sugar and Yeast.
Mix them and make a well in the middle. Pour olive oil and warm milk in it.
Knead till the dough comes together. If it is too stiff, then add a little milk, one spoon at a time.
Take your baking dish and spread the dough in it by pressing with finger tips. Alternately, you could roll it into the desired container's shape.
Cover and keep the dough in a warm place till its doubled approximately ( as we have used atta, it'll take some time to rise). I kept it for 1 hour in summers.

How to prepare topping
Warm the oil. Add Heeng and basil.
Remove from flame and keep it covered for about 30-60 minutes for flavours to develop. You can keep it for longer also.

Baking the Bread
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Punch holes in the dough with finger tips and pour the prepared oil.
Keep the baking dish in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The top should be slightly browned. Overly brown is a no-no.
Take it out and let it rest for 5-10 minutes while your house is filled by the rich aroma of baked bread.

Enjoy with Tomato salsa, or plain cheese or some chilli.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tomato salsa- the Italian way

Salsa is mostly defined as a spicy sauce having tomatoes, onions and chilli to accompany Mexican foods like nachos.

Salsa is also a apt!

You can dance around with the ingredients and make salsa to your liking, just like Mark Bittman

Here is a little something which I made over weekend with Foccacia bread.

You need:
  • Tomatoes- 3, chopped
  • Parsley- 2 Tbsp , chopped 
  • Olive oil- 2 tsp
  • Vinegar- 1 Tbsp
  • Black Pepper- 1 tsp, crushed
  • Kosher salt - to taste

How to
  1. Pour oil in a flat pan. 
  2. Add chopped tomatoes (you can de-seed them if u like. it'll change the texture a bit)
  3. Add the parsley.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Mix and cook for a minute.
  5. Add vinegar. Simmer and cook till its mushy, but still chunky.
Serve at room temperature.

PS: my mom would call it a simple chutney but Rose would smell sweet even if it was called by some other name. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Paneer curry - the way I make it

Paneer is almost the king of dishes in a vegetarian cuisine. With it chewy mouthfeel, lovely texture and an ability to take on various flavours...maybe it deserves to be just that.
Be it a festival, a party or a wedding, paneer dishes are served everywhere in India. The best part is that it can be used without any cooking in salads too!
Here is a regular paneer dish that I usually make when I feel like making something nice for dinner.


  • Paneer- 200 gm approximately ( I make at home, but you can use store bought ones)-cubed
  • Onion- 1, chopped
  • Garlic- 2, chopped
  • Tomatoes- 1 big or 2 small ones
  • Green chillies- 1 ( you can increase the amount
  • Ginger- 1" piece
  • Oil- 1 Tbsp ( you can use butter also)
  • Milk-1/2 cup
  • Haldi (turmeric powder)-1/4 tsp
  • Dhaniya (coriander seed powder)-  1tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala- 1/2 tsp


  1. Make puree of tomatoes, garlic, green chillies and ginger.
  2. Heat oil in a Kadhai/ wok.
  3. Add chopped onions and fry till they are browned at the edges.
  4. Now add the tomato puree mix and stir in all the spices.
  5. Cook till the oil leaves the sides.
  6. Now add 1/2 cup of milk and keep mixing. If it dries up too much i.e. its ticking to the bottom then add 1 tbsp of water.
  7. Add the cubed paneer and add 1/2 cup water. Mix well and simmer for a few minutes.
  8. Serve hot with chapati,naan or bread even!

Serves 2

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bedmi / Bedvi poori and potato curry- A weekend brunch

This is a dish which brings childhood memories with each bite. My mother and my aunt, used to make it in huge quantities as we all had a habit of snacking on this poori.
My mausi and mom used to have it with tea, and sometimes with pickles, while me and my cousin would just grab one from the huge pile in the kitchen and munch on it happily.

Usually this poori is made by stuffing it like a kachori , but we make it by kneading the soaked and grounded dal with the flour.

 You will need:
  • Dhuli urad dal/ washed black lentils- 1 cup
  • Sooji- 1/2 cup
  • Whole wheat flour-2 cups
  • Ginger-1"
  • Green chillies- 2, chopped finely
  • Salt- 1 tsp or to taste
  • Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
  • Dhaniya powder- 1tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Oil- 1tbsp
  • Oil for frying

How to
  1. Wash the dal well and soak it for 2-3 hrs. You can also soak it overnight. I usually do that.
  2. Drain the water. Add ginger and green chillies. Grind the dal coarsely. 
  3. Take the coarse dal in a bowl. Add all the spices. Add whole wheat flour, Sooji and 1 tbsp oilKnead them together. Add very little water if required. The dough should be little stiffer than a chapati dough.
  4. Cover and keep for 1/2 hour. Knead again for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Make small lemon sized balls.
  6. Apply a little oil on the Chakla. Roll them into 4-5" diameter circles.
  7. Heat the oil for frying in a kadhai.
  8. When the oil is hot, then lower the flame and fry the pooris.

I made it as a weekend brunch with potato curry and we all were tummy happy.
The best part is that my little one likes it too!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Potato curry- No onion, no garlic recipe

This is a very simple dish to make. I usually make it on days on which we are fasting. Sometimes its yummily paired with Bedmi poori (will post the recipe soon).


  • Potatoes- 3, boiled, peeled and diced
  • Tomatoes- 2
  • Ginger- 1' piece
  • Green chillies- 1-2 (depending on the heat you want in the curry)
  • Ghee/ Clarified butter- 1tsp
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Heeng/asafoetida- a pinch


  • Dhaniya power/coriander seeds powder- 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Haldi/ Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
  • Salt- 1 tsp ( you can increase or decrease as per your taste)


  1. Grind tomatoes, ginger and green chilies together.
  2. Heat Ghee in a Kadhai.
  3. Add Heeng and jeera.
  4. When the Jeera sizzles and brown, add the ground  tomato paste.
  5. Add all the spices and mix well. Lower the flame a little and let it cook till the oil leave sides.
  6. Add the potatoes and turn them in order to coat them with the cooked gravy. Add some water. Here you can decide the amount as per your need to have a thick or thin gravy.
  7. You can mash a few pieces of potatoes here to give texture to the gravy.
  8. Taste and adjust for salt.

Serve hot!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pasta Al pomodoro

"Life is a combination of magic and Pasta"
-Fedrico Fellini

I have a pasta cookbook, gifted by hubby. He knew that I loved pasta and so this book happened.
The recipes are good and somehow they turn out well even if I improvise ...simply because I don't have all ingredients at all times!

Ingredients (makes for 2)

  • Onion-1 large, chopped
  • Penne pasta- 250 gm, cooked in boiling water till al dante
  • Garlic- 2 big cloves, crushed
  • Tomatoes- 3 chopped fine (you can use ready-made paste or puree also, or sieve the tomatoes to remove seeds..I did neither)
  • Parmesan cheese- 1/4 C, grated
  • Kosher salt- 1 heaped tsp (you can use regular salt, but in less quantity)
  • Basil leaves- 1 tbsp, chopped (you can add parsley or any other favorite herb)
  • Butter- 2 spoons
  • Tomato ketchup- 1 Tbsp
  • Black Pepper- 1 and 1/2 tsp

How to

  1. Melt the butter (I already love this!)
  2. Add the crushed Garlic. Fry for a minute.
  3. Add Onions, cook till soft and pink.
  4. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  5. Cook and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add Basil leaves. Add the cooked pasta. Add ketchup and mix.
  7. Adjust salt at this stage. 
  8. Serve , sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Along with a nice Greek salad.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Kaali masoor dal- Whole brown lentils

Dal- roti are the back bone of Indian home cooking. This dal spells 'comfort food' for me. It goes well with chapati and/or rice and is one of the family's favorite.

Kaali masoor dal- 1/2 katori
Ginger- 1' piece, grated
Onion- 1, chopped
Tomato- 1 , small , chopped
Garlic- 2 cloves, chopped
Whole red chilli-1
Salt to taste
Ghee- 1 tsp
Haldi (turmeric powder)- 1/4 tsp

How to make:
Wash the daal thoroughly.
Boil the dal in a pressure cooker with 1 and 1/2 katori water. Please add salt, haldi and grated ginger before boiling.
In the meantime, prepare the tadka (tempering). Heat Ghee in a small Kadhai. Add chopped Onions and fry till pink.
Add finely chopped Garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add red chilli.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they are mushy.
Now add the boiled dal to it. Dal should be soft but not mushy. Adjust for salt.
If your dal is still not cooked (it happens with mine), add the tadka into the pressure cooker and let it cook some more. Usually after 2-3 more whistles , it is done.
Garnish with coriander leaves (optional)