Tuesday, December 8, 2015

All purpose spicy paste with fresh turmeric

Often we use ginger garlic paste and few of us but from the market. I make it at home as the tastes are fresher. Here in Jakarta we get a lot of fresh turmeric. I often buy and then it either dries out or I bury it in my garden. I now even have fresh turmeric growing. 
This time it found better use. In my paste. The flavour is amazing. Of course I was left with yellow hands but the paste adds amazing color and flavor to food. 
1/4 cup Scrapped and chopped fresh turmeric 
1/4 cup chopped ginger
6-8 green chillies
1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves
Oil to top up
In a grinder add all the prepared vegetables and crush them. 
Top with oil well and refrigerate. 
Use in cooking as needed. It has amazing colors and you get extra goodness of fresh turmeric. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Red saag

Laal saag saga
As a child I once tasted a dry curry made with the red saag often seen in Asian markets. I hated the taste. Perhaps it wasn't made well. Coming jakarta means finding the whole new world of fresh vegetables. Germany it was hard to get a huge variety. Yet I managed much for the 5 years I lived there. Time to try out the local vegs here and today was the big day as I dared to face my fears. I bought the dreaded saag. As I cooked it I wondered how my family would react to it. Whenever I introduce any new veg I make it with South Indian flavours. Easier to hide the taste of the veg. 😆 Its delicious and my family enjoyed it with khichdee. Here is the recipe. 
500 gms chopped red saag
2 potatoes cut into fingers with skin
3-5 pods chopped garlic 
1 red Chilli
Few curry leaves
2 tbsp oil
Hing a pinch 
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp Chana dal
1/4 tsp Chilli powder
1/3 tsp haldi
1 tsp sambhar powder
Pulp of small lemon size tamarind 
Heat oil and add mustard, hing and Chilli. Let them splutter. Add Chana daal and cook till golden. 
Add chopped garlic and sauté with curry leaves. 
Now put in the potatoes with a bit of salt and cover to let them swear for few mins. 
Put in haldi and Chilli powder and add the chopped saag. 
Mix well and cover to cook. 
Once potatoes are cooked, add the sambhar powder and tamarind pulp. 
Cook for 5 mins till its thickened. 
Serve with rice or rotis. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Mixed flour bread


Mixed flour bread
This bread is so full of flavour and texture. Loved with tea and cream cheese or butter. 
100 gms each of bajra flour, oats meal , buckwheat flour
1 tsp fresh yeast
Warm milk to knead 
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Oats to sprinkle on top.
Mix all the flours , add the yeast , warm milk, salt and oil. 
Make batter like consistency and keep for an hour. 
Pour into a greased tray and sprinkle oats on top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg C till golden and a knife comes out clean.
Cool and enjoy a very flavorful bread with lots of texture.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sambhal Oelaek

Sambhal Oelaek
A sauce so lovely ... Mix with rice and curd or top on a slice of toast or have it with dosas or even with pakoras! Very versatile and delicious ! 
500 gms big red chillies
2 tsp chilli flakes 
1 tbsp oil
1-2 tbsp vinegar
Salt to taste
Crush the chillies in a blender roughly.
Heat oil and add the chillies, flakes , salt and cook on high heat till it starts to dry up.
Add vinegar and cook few secs.
Pour and kept in bottles.
Use for anything that needs spice.

Capers mustard pickle

Capers , mustard and tomato chutney 
Capers are very close to taiti from Rajasthan in taste. Sour and tangy I thought of combining them into a chutney to eat with dosas. So here it is... The bottle sat on my fridge shelf long enough, now put to better use.
250 gms tomato purée
3-4 tbsp capers
3-4 tbsp prepared mustard sauce
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp crushed achari masala( kalonji, mustard, saunf, jeera and methi seeds)
Chilli powder
Heat oil and add ginger garlic paste, add purée and mustard.
Add all other ingredients and cook till oil comes out.
Add capers and cook few mins.
Store in a jar.
Enjoy with what you like. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Bread dhokla


Bread dhokla 
Sudden friends visiting and what do you think of that's different and is with bread? Mind was churning faster and soon thought of doing this dish. Very refreshing and tasty. Serve with imli and green chutney. Could nearly go as dahi vada taste too. Whatever it was... I loved it! 
10 large slices of bread cut into squares
1 cup yogurt beaten
3- 4 tbsp besan
1 tsp ginger garlic n chilli paste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 chopped chilli
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp sesame 
Curry leaves
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Hing a pinch 
Cut bread into squares and arrange in a microwave dish.
Best yogurt with 1/2 cup water and besan.
Add salt , sugar, garlic paste. Beat.
Pour on the bread and let them soak.
Cover with film and poke holes in it.
Put into microwave for 6-7 mins and cook on high.
Remove and keep for few mins. 
Heat oil and add hing and mustard seeds.
Add sesame seeds and urad dal and let them color.
Add curry leaves and chopped chilli.
Add 2-3 tbsp water and mix.
Pour over the bread mixture and keep for couple of hours to soak well.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Spicy and nutty squares

Sometimes the need to eat something different yet made from things in the fridge with least efforts result in something delicious. This was one such effort that made me want some more ! Here is the recipe that could be a great lunch box idea or even finger food for a party sure to be relished. 
2 mashed potatoes
1 chopped chili
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp amchur
Chopped coriander 
Sesame seeds as needed
Roasted and salted peanuts
6-8 bread slices
2 tsp Schezwan sauce 
In the boiled and mashed potatoes , add chopped chillies, garlic ginger paste, salt, chilli powder, salt and coriander. Mix well.
On slices of bread spread butter, tomato ketchup and little schezwan sauce.
Spread a good layer of potato mixture.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and peanuts.
Heat a skillet, spread some butter and put the potato side down first to cook till golden.
When brown , flip over and cook till golden on the other side.
Cut into squares and serve hot!
Spicy and nutty snack ready in mins.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mushroom casserole with Indian spices

After a while afternoon of baking muffins and cake, idea of cooking dinner was really wasn't too exciting. A quick look in the fridge and hot oven got me creating this healthy delicious dish.
250 gms halved mushrooms
1 cubed onion
1/2 cubed bell pepper
1-2 cup curd
1 tsp chili garlic paste
3-4 tbsp oats meal
Chilli powder
1 tsp Sabzi masala / garam masala
1 tsp oil
Mix all the ingredients well.
Put into hot oven and bake till golden on top and it looks cooked.
Enjoy just the way it is. 
Delicious and healthy !

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Baked cheesy sesame garlic squares

Baked cheesy sesame garlic squares
A crunchy garlicky squares great for pick up snacks  for parties with dips or as side snacks for kids. 
1 kg all purpose flour
1/2 cup warm oil
2 tbsp garlic chili paste
1 cup curd
1 tbsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup grated cheese 
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ajwain
1 tbsp vinegar
Salt to taste 
Mix flour with all the ingredients and mix well. 
Add enough hot water to make a medium soft dough.
Keep for 15 mins.
Roll and cut into squares.
Poke with a fork and bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg C.
Bake till brown and golden. 
Store in sealed containers.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Buckwheat cake

Buckwheat atta cake , vegan cake
Defying the regular cakes, this one was super moist, yummy and extremely filling and satisfying with coffee. Try this for your next fast! 
1 cup Buckwheat flour / kuttu atta
1 cup ground oats
1 cup roughly ground almonds 
1 cup soaked and crushed dried dates
1-2 tbsp honey 
500 ml apple sauce
1 grated Apple 
1/4 cup oil
3 tsp baking powder 
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla / cinnamon 
Mix all the ingredients well. Adjust sweetness and consistency.
Pour into a prepared dish.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg C. 
Cover half way through and cook till a needle comes out clean.
Top with home made apple chips. 
To make apple chips, slice apples and bake in oven turning it once. 
Then microwave them to dry.
Enjoy healthy cake !

Buckwheat healthy daal dhokli

Buckwheat dal dhokli
When I have different new ingredients, my brain starts to spin and I start thinking how I could make a different dish out of it. Who says dal dhokli can't be made with another kind of flour? So I tried buckwheat and was ready it might fall apart inside the dal as I boil it. I also used a local dal called green lentil. It looks like a bigger firm of black masoor and looks like tuar inside.  But it worked well. Here it goes. Healthy and yummy recipe. 
1 cup green lentil/ tuar dal. 
1/2 cup kale leaves chopped
1 onion chopped
500 gms chopped tomatoes 
1 tbsp garlic crushed
1 tbsp grated ginger
1-2 chopped green chillies
10-12 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp each of cumin and methi seeds
1/5 tsp hing
1-2 cup crushed peanuts 
Walnut size tamarind soaked in water
1 tbsp jaggery
Chilli powder 
Dhaniya powder
Garam masala 
1 tbsp oil
Chopped coriander 

For dhokli..
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup oats meal optional 
1/4 tsp ajwain
Chili powder 
1 tbsp oil

Mix all the flours and other ingredients for dhokli and make into a stiff dough. 
In a pressure cooker add dals, kale leaves, salt , haldi, tomatoes, crushed peanuts and boil well.
Heat oil  add hing, cumin, methi and mustard and let them crackle.
Add ginger, garlic , green chillies and curry leaves and sauté.
Add chopped onions and sauté.
Add the dry masalas and pour dal in it.
Add water to make it a little thin.
Add jaggery and tamarind pulp.
Roll dough and cut into small squares.
Put these into the boiling dal.
Boil for about 15 mins till dhoklis float.
Add chopped dhaniya and ghee and serve it with rice or just the way it is. 
Enjoy the healthy dish on a rainy or cold day ! We love it.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Buckwheat/ kuttu bread

Buckwheat / kuttu bread
A dear friend is on special diet and is off wheat products. As she craved for something different , I tried my hand on this idea of using buckwheat. Just a mix and bake kind of bread but relished by us too. Do try!
1 cup buckwheat
1/2 tsp fresh yeast
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes 
Buckwheat groat to sprinkle 
Mix all the ingredients with warm water and make into a thick batter.
Beat for few mins. 
Pour into a greased baking dish.
Top with buckwheat groat.
Keep for 1 hour for it to rise.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg C till golden brown on top and knife comes clean. 
Cool and slice. Top with butter and enjoy the good healthy bread.

Healthy and spicy seeds chutney

I like to make various chutnies and this one is delightful! High on taste and great on health.

1/4cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
5-7 pods of garlic 
1 tsp chili powder 
Salt to taste
Roast the seeds till golden.
Cool and add other ingredients and grind to a rough powder.
Eat as you like... Over dosas, idlis, sprinkled over eggs or on vada pao.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bengali beet chops


As kids we enjoyed the delicious sweet and nutty beetroot chops in Kharagpur made in the cafeteria made close to our home.  I have been long thinking of making them but never got to doing it. Boiled beetroot packet motivated me to make them. Loving the flavors that are in my kitchen right now. Very nice smells and very nutritious. Worth trying these yummy treats.
2 cups boiled and grated beetroots
3 cups boiled and mashed potatoes
1/2 cup chopped beans
1/2 cup green peas
1 grated carrots
1 chopped chilli
1 tsp grated ginger
chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
2 crushed cloves
1 crushed green cardamom
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala, I used dabeli masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
For coating
Oil to fry or shallow fry
Mix all the vegetables together.
Add peanuts, masalas, salt and mix well.
Heat oil , add cumin and let them crackle. Add sesame and let them crackle too. 
Add the mashed vegetables and cook till water is evaporated.
Cool and make cutlets.
Coat with mixture of cornstarch and suji and shallow fry or deep fry !
Yum yum yum is the only word to this.Health and taste ek saath!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


South Indian cuisine is one of my favorite. Flavorful, healthy and delicious. Has so much variety and so much taste. Rasam is one such dish. A light soup, healthy and good for the soul. Can be made anytime and is good for those colds and during winters or rainy days to drive away your blues. 
5-6 tomatoes chopped 
2 tsp crushed garlic
Few curry leaves
Walnut size tamarind 
1 tsp oil
1-2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of Hing
Ingredients of Spice mix 
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander 
1/2 tsp pepper
1 dry red chilli
Crush the spices roughly for the spice mix.
In a pot pour 5 cups water.
Add chopped tomatoes ,tamarind, crushed garlic ,Hing,salt and spice mix. 
Boil on slow flame for about 30 mins.
Heat oil and add mustard. Let them splatter.
Add curry leaves and pour into rasam.
Add coriander leaves and serve hot. 

Protein packed healthy vadas

Diet protein packed vada with rasam 
My quest for healthier options for all the calorie rich foods never stops me from experimenting in my little kitchen. I saw this donut maker and I wanted to make my all time favorite ... Rasam vada without those extra calories. Today I tried mixed daals and they were passed by full marks by my friends and family. Sharing this goodness on my blog. 
1/2 cup red masoor
1/4 cup Chana dal
1/4 cup tuar
1/4 cup urad
1/4 cup quinoa 
1/4 cup dalia
1/4 cup rice
1 tbsp ginger
2 green chillies
1/2 tsp cumin 
1/6 tsp Hing
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp baking powder
2-3 tbsp curd
1 chopped onion
Salt to taste
Soak all the grains for about 2-3 hours.
Grind them with green chillies and ginger .You can also add them chopped instead. Add curd to grind. Keep the batter thick. 
Add oil , onions, spices and baking powder and mix well.
Heat donut maker. Apply butter on both sides. 

Pour spoon fulls into each slot.
Close the griddle and cook for about 5-7 mins. 
Serve them hot with steaming rasam or chutney! 
Delicious and healthy !!

Whole wheat and white pao

White flour and whole wheat flour pao
I had been planning these a long time. At my college we used to make those white buns and immediately polished them off with butter. Nothing like hot buns with melting butter and this is what we did today as I baked these perfect paos! My home was filled with warm smells lifting my spirits and the low temperature and dull skies were soon forgotten . Soft, spongy, smooth and just soul satisfying .... Sharing the recipe of the perfect paos. They aren't stretchy like the ones at store. Enjoy it

Makes 28 white paos
4 cups white flour
2 cups warm whole milk
20 gms fresh yeast
3-4 / 40 gms tbsp butter
2 tsp salt

Whole wheat pao ( makes 16 pao)
3 cups atta
1.5 cups milk
7.5 gms fresh yeast
3 tbsp butter
1.5 tsp salt

I used the food processor that made my work lighter but you could knead it with hand.
In a bowl add the flour and salt.
Warm milk just enough so that it's warm to touch and NOT HOT.
Mix the fresh yeast in it and pour into the flour.
Turn the processor on and keep kneading. It looks too wet and impossible to come together but let the gluten break. Keep working on it.
Add the butter and keep working on the dough. 
In about 15 mins you will see it's coming together. 
Use oil on ur hands if you need to as it comes together like a baby's bum ... That's how we were told at college ☺️
Keep this for about an hour or so or till its double in size.

Use oil in your hands and roll into a cylinder.
Cut into equal sizes and roll into smooth balls.

In a buttered tray put these balls leaving about an inch of space between for them to rise.
Keep covered for another hour or so or till it rises to a double. 

Preheat oven to 200 degC. 
Brush the dough balls with milk and put into the oven.
Bake for about 12-15 mins till they are golden brown.
Remove and brush with melted butter.
Remove from tray to avoid sweating!
Enjoyyyy these hot out of the oven with chilled slice of butter melting Inbetween... Is heaven close?? Sure is.