Friday, December 08, 2006

Garlic Pickle

It was that time of the year when Chaturmaas the four month sacred period was going to start. I had some garlic bulbs that were unused and I was not ready to use garlic in anything and everything I cooked. So decided to make a pickle. This year I had already made 4 other preserves hence didn't want to go about making the masala myself. Also there was a packet of Bedekar's Pickle masala lying around that I wanted to use. Here is what I did.


3 bulbs garlic
1 table spoon Bedekar's pickle masala
1/2 lime juice
1/2 cup oil

Peeled the pods and cleaned to get the garlic pods. Fried them in oil for 2 mins. Let it cool for 5 mins added masala, lime juice and mixed. Cooled completely through the day. Before going to bed transfered the pickle into a dry jar. It gave me about 300 ml jar pickle. Generally we start using pickles as soon as they are made even if they haven't aged yet. This pickle was fortunate it aged for 4 months.

The first trial was with curd rice served to my friends and they gave a thumbs up!

P.S: I realize now my pickles have a story each attached to it especially the Kairiche Pickle. Will share my labours love with you soon and the Upadvyap we did for it all for the love of home made pickle with the specific type of mangoes that we like so much. Friends I will be away till next year so Happy New Year! in advance.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Limbachya Salache Lonche

Last Summer holidays my family and friends visited me. There were 5 kids who had lime juice thrice a day all made by themselves. I didn't want to stop them from enjoying their juice making session either so I would give them all things needed apparatus and all and send them out onto the sit out. All parents gleemed amusedly by the noise they made and believe me the juice was superb. Can you believe how many lime peels I might have collected. They were not squeezing out the juice fully so I didn't want to throw away the peels. So I gave them a big empty jar and told them to put the used lime peels in it and top it up with salt layer. In 15 days I had a full jar. After the kids left and I felt lonely I started a new activity of putting the jar in the sun on the terrace every morning before leaving for office and getting it back into the kitchen in the evening before dinner. In a month I got lovely darkened lime in brine. I tasted it and since this was used lime it did not taste as good as lime with the juice that we make usually. So what did I do.


About 1 kg of lime peels in brine
1/4 cup red chilli powder
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1/4 cup sambar powder
1/2 cup Oil

Heated oil in sauce pan. Spluttered mustard in the oil. Removed from heat allowed to cool for 5 mins. Added chilli powder, sambar powder and lime in brine. Mixed well and stored. It was ready to eat immediately. Threw away the brine.

I carried it to office in my lunch box the next day and my colleague who does not like any taste other than the typical south indian actually liked it. But I didn't tell her this secret recipe and the story for the fear of being tagged thrifty.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Recycled Dhokla

I was born a Koli but the period between 8 years-16 years of my life I lived in the Gujarathi / Parsee heartland Fort. Sometimes it makes me laugh how places get their names. This southern area in Mumbai was supposed to have been a Fort so the obvious but I do not see even a single trace of the Fort.
Fort is downtown Mumbai. Living in the area meant having a childhood without open places to play after school unless ofcourse if you went to Bombay gymkhana or Harnimon Circle. I regert I never did learn to ride a bicycle like most children do. Spent most after school hours reading books which were in plenty on the streets, school library and tagging along with MJ kaka to Petit library. I will write a separate post on Walking to the Petit Library with Kaka as it was never just that. Hey I'm just straying away.
So back to Dhokla. Yeah I was saying how could I not like dhokla living in this mini Gujarath. Many times there would be excess dhokla which Dad recycled into this snack. This dish though made from leftover dhokla in the past. We like it so much at home that now we make Dhokla in the morning control temptation to eat it till evening and then when it is too cold to be enjoyed as dhokla transform it into this dish. However never try to make it using Nylon dhokla or dhokla made from besan it will not lend the same texture. Try it and tell me.

1 cup leftover Dhokla
1 tablespoon thin shev
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon toasted cummin seeds powder
1/2 teaspoon toasted corriander seed powder
grated fresh coconut and
cilantro for garnish
Crumble the Dhokla in a plate and save. In a bowl add lime juice and sugar and dissolve. Mix this juice with the dhokla crumbs using a fork. Sprinkle the three powders and mix again with the fork. To serve top it up with thin shev the ones used in bhels. Garnish with fresh grated coconut and loads of cilantro.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Moogache Ladoo

This recipe I learnt from my favorite Marathi cookbook, "Annapoorna" which I recieved as a gift at the age of 12 years. It is absolutely tattered now. What I realize is the great influence it had on my cooking. Some of the recipes I make may not be exactly from that book just like this one as now I don't even need to refer the book. I make the laddoos for my little nephew, Pranav who simply loves them.

1/2 kg Green lentils split
1/2 kg powder sugar
5-6 cardamons powdered
1 cup ghee

Dry Roast the Green lentils in a kadhai. Leave it to cool completely. Once cooled powder it to fineness in a dry grinder. Next heat ghee in the kadhai add the powdered green lentils and roast on simmmer till the rawness vanishes. Be careful not to burn the mix. Don't leave the roasting till you are done. It takes about 20 mins for the measures mentioned here. Then add the powder sugar while still on the heat and mix well. Remove from heat immediately else the sugar will char. Let it cool a bit so that it is easy to shape the laddoo. Just before you make the laddoo add the cardamom powder and mix well. Shape the balls real smooth. Relish the goodness of the green laddoo.

Ashwini made laddoos with the dehusked moog dal check out her version.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Shravani Cake

Shravani Cake gets its name from the fact that it is a cake to be feasted on in the sacred month of Shravan. We being a vegetarian family and with 2 kids whose birthday falls in the month of Shravan makes even an ordinary cook a creative one. Aai made this cake to prove that all children in our joint family were equal. This was a BD present to all 8 kids at home on their individual BDs. We loved it then and we love it now. My elder bro tells me that mine does not taste as good as Mom's. The secret it she made it in a cooker just like steaming idlis. Whereas I make in the Oven.
1 cup Semolina roasted
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoon sour curds
1 tablespoon ghee
1/4 cup Pistachio, almonds, cashews slivered
1 generous pinch saffron to be soaked in milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
In a large bowl first lets beat the ghee to a froth. Add the sugar and beat till dissolved. Now lets add milk and curd then add the semolina and fold into the mix. Mix in the nuts and saffron and baking powder till mixed properly but with a light hand. Let in stand for 10 mins. Meanwhile preheat oven to 200 deg Cel. Grease 6 inch round mould with ghee. After 10 mins lets pour the batter in the mould. and bake for 20 mins. This cake should not be allowed to be browned as it is made from semolina it will give a very hard crust. It should be removed from the oven as soon as it is baked from inside. to check if done insert a dry knife if it pulls out dry then the cake is baked and done. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 mins. Then demould it on a tray or cake stand. As you see in the picture above, the cake I baked was for almost double the quantity given here and so I took a mould which could hold all the batter at one time. Enjoy!
Updated: 5th Feb 2007
Pressure Cooker Version
This varies only in the last step. Instead of baking we steam the batter. For steaming you can use a greased Dhokla stand and cut into diamonds after steaming Or in idli stand for small cakes. This versions is fluffier and tastier after all this is how Aai made it. It should be steamed for 20 mins and make sure it is cooked as explained in the oven version before removing from heat and leaving it to cool. I'm sure you will like this version more than my oven version.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Pasta Salad

This salad is much loved in my family due to the color, crispiness and yet warm bite it provides. I just loved taking the pictures and knew my blog would look festive with them so forgive me for the similar looking shots. I devepoed a real taste for the salad when I was working in nightshifts for a while. I din't want to eat heavy food yet wanted to keep full through the night without the side effects of doing night shifts. This recipe is just great for students who stay up all night to study during exam times.


1/2 cup Conchiglie(shell) Pasta
some cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini chopped large
2 onions chopped big
1/ cup green sprouts
1 1/2 cup milk
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper as much as you like

Step I
Lets start by putting the saucepan on the heat. Pour in the milk and add pasta, sprouts, chopped zucchini. Cook till done with salt. The rawness of the sprouts and zucchini should have vanished. I just added torn cabbage on the top before taking the picture below.

Step II

Then prepare the veggies. In a shallow pan roast the veggies with minimum oil and salt as per taste. They should look like this. If you notice I had roasted zucchini too but it did not cook well and had to weed it out while eating. Therefore in this recipe I have suggested it be cooked along with the pasta.

Step III

Now in a salad bowl mix together the cooked stuff from step I and step II. Add the fresh ground pepper. I like a lot of pepper in this salad.
Serve while still warm with toasted bread. At home we like to dip the bread in the sauce. It tastes too good.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oven Methi Nan

I have been cooking for a long time now but don't know why had never thought I could made tandoori rotis in an electrical oven on the grill. Well what happened was I went shopping for a new electrical oven. I needed a small one as this home is not my permanent one. I came across an electrical tandoor. I saw that it was built the same way as an oven. Just heating element and a box. Except that the oven has a large shell whereas the tandoor had a flatter shell. As soon as I came home with the oven the first thing I tried was this Oven Roti. My Dad sweared by it and he was so happy now would be able to eat tandoor style rotis at home. See the grill marks look so good in the picture and ofcourse the melted ghee. What you see in the platter is Spinach soup and Sime Badnekayi (Chayote Squash) stir fry with Methi Nan.


1 cup wheat flour
1 cup maida
1/2 cup curds
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped fenugreek leaves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Nigella seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and form pliable dough. Keep it aside for 1/2 hr. Preheat oven at 250 deg C or 480 deg F for 10 mins. Use bottom element only. Roll out Oval Nans so that you can bake 2 at a time. Bake the Nan on the grill for 10 mins on each side till it gives the grill marks. In this way one can make almost any type of oven rotis.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Toor Masale Bhat

Once in a while my Dad surprises me by making dinner on days when I have spent a long day at work. He had bought some Toorichya shenga that looked really fresh. We normally make toor curry with ground coconut masala. The Toor when separated from the pods looked like peas so he decided to make masale bhat with it. The toor rice turned out so fluffy and nice that I feasted on it. The red and green chillies he used were just to add color to the picture as He now watches me taking pictures for the blog. I wanted to take a picture of the toorichya shenga but dinner was ready when I reached home and the waste pods were in the dustbin. Ambe mohar rice is the best rice for masale bhat. This variety of rice is small grained and smells like ripe mangoes when cooked. We used long grained rice on this day as you see in the picture.


1 cup rice

1 cup toor

4-5 red chilies / green chillies slit with stem intact

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder

2 pinches asofeotida

1/2 cup curds

1 cup water

1 tablespoon fresh grated coconut

1 tablespoon cilantro

1 tablespoon oil

salt to taste

Masala for 1 cup rice:

2 cloves

3-4 black peppercons

2 small sticks cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 cardamom pods

1 teaspoon Coriander seeds

Grind together all items. No roasting required. Traditional maharashtrian masale bhat powder is not roasted this gives the lovely flavor and smell.

To begin heat oil in a small pressure cooker add turmeric, chilli powder, asofeotida, Masale bhat powder stir for a min and sprinkle water on the seasoning to allow the flavors to come out. Add the toor and stir. Wash rice and mix into the seasoning. Add the curds and mix. Next add water and salt before you close the cooker. Pressure cook and allow only one whistle. Let steam subside and open cooker while still hot else rice will become soft. Do you smell the heavenly aroma?

Now remove all the rice on a platter and make it fluffy by using a fork to separate the grains and garnish with coconut and cilantro.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chivda bhel

Earthy snack
Chivda made in the earlier post is used to make this bhel. While taking this picture I tought it appropriate to place the plate on the floor and fill the tea in the steel tumbler as this one is an earthy snack.
1 cup Chivda
1/2 tablespoon chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon Tikhat shev/ any shev
salt to sprinkle
cilantro to garnish
squeeze of lime
Mix all of this together in a bowl and serve in a plate. It will be gone in minutes to whoever you serve. Don't forget to offer Kadak chaha with the chivda bhel.


Chivda packets ready to be shared during Diwali along with other sweets 

Chivda is the snack omnipresent on all occassions be it naming ceremony, engagement, or no occasion at all in Koli and Maharashtrian homes. It is an all time snack. I make it every weekend fresh for my family and I don't touch it myself. In our home we always had a box of Chivda available in the pantry after a couple of days all the peanuts would be gone from it. We all knew who the mouse was and tease my brother aged 45 till date about it. Each one had their own way of eating it. Some ate mixed with shev, other's made a bhel. some squeezed a lemon on it. All yummy versions yet I stayed away from the Chivda. It was also a travel snack carried along on most journeys. This is the first time I am giving large proportions as this snack can be stored for a long time.


1 kg Thin rice flakes
10 green chillies chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup peanuts
1/2 cup roasted and split chickpeas
1/4 dry coconut slivers
1/2 teaspoon Poppy seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 bunch curry leaves
4 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon asoefotida

Firstly prepare the rice flakes for the chivda. It can be done in 2 ways- by leaving the rice flakes in the sun for 2 hrs or till they are brittle Or by dry roasting them till brittle. If roasting then allow to cool before making the chivda else it won't turn out that crispy.
Later in a big vessel heat oil for the seasoning. Splutter mustard seeds then in goes the asoefotida. Then fry the peanuts and coconut slivers till red. Add the poppy seeds and stir. Then add the roasted and split chickpeas, curry leaves and stir for a min. Once the curry leaves are crispy add the green chillies and fry still crisp. Last add the turmeric and salt and mix well. Add the rice flakes which we kept ready to it and mix thoroughly by flipping the mix in the vessel. Do not stir with ladel else the rice flakes crumble down. Finally add th sugar and mix again and remove from the gas. At home we pour out the chivda in a large fine sieve to cool it makes the chivda very brittle and tasty. 

All of you who have posts on chivda link up here to share your versions.

Here is a bhel I love to make with this Chivda.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tikhat Shev

Mountain of Tikhat Shev

This picture was taken during the Diwali preparations. Thikat Shev is the easiest thing to make among the munchies. It just vanishes fast from the stocks as soon as it is made especially during Diwali when one gets tired of eating sweets.
1 cup chick pea flour
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 generous pinch hing
Oil to fry
Mix all the items to get a thick paste. Oil or water should be smeared on the inner side of the Shev press. Fill the press with the paste and drop the shev in hot oil. Fry the shev to nice red color on medium heat. Remove from oil once done in a basket lined with absorbent paper to drain excess oil. Shilpa too had made her version for diwali.

Masala Papad

It is actually a starter but can also be eaten as a evening snack. When one is dead tired to make some thing really elaborate but needs a quick bite into something crunchy and savoury the masala papad come to help. Most people use fried papad for it but I used roasted to cut out the extra fat. It's a snack churned out from the basic ingredients in the kitchen and yet so tasty.


1 papad
1 teaspoon finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro
1 pinch red chilli powder
black salt to sprinkle on

Roast or fry the papad and lay it in a plate. The fried ones don't become soggy fast but anyways masala papads don't last long enough to sog anyways. Garnish it with onions, tomatoes, cilantro and sprinkle the salt and red chilli powder on it.

Five Pickles and a Chutney

This is a trailer for the upcoming posts.

Lovely colors
Mango Tree in the background
Moramba- Lonche- Chunda

Pickles perched on a wall

Winter Mangoes

Lip Smacking Pickles

Lasun Chutney

Friday, November 17, 2006

Shevndi -Lobsters

They are the "Love of my Life". There is no good recipe for lobsters. The simplest and the best is fresh boiled lobsters. They have to be tasted that way to really enjoy lobsters. The Koli name for lobsters is Shevndi. They stay live outside water for atleast 4-5 hrs after they are caught and don't loose taste. In Thal people make curry and stir fries. They only end up spoiling the real taste. I have tried to make butter-garlic-pepper lobsters but that too mars the taste.

My maternal uncle S Mama used to supply lobsters to Taj at Gateway. So whenever he came to Mumbai with his catch he always gave me some. On such days even if I was fasting I would quit midday to enjoy the feast. They are considered the highest cash drivers among Kolis and you know why.

Lobsters like everything else that I loved in life so much is a thing of the past. I am now a veggie by choice since the last 20 odd years. This post is dedicated to the lobsters.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Any Mumbaikar is a diehard fan of gola the ubiquitous crushed-ice candy. It was banned by most parents to eat from the Golawala pushing his cart on the street as it was unheigenic but do kids care. We loved to watch the golawala crush the ice on his green pressing machine. My cuz loved to do it himself. Then shaping the Gola in the hand and then sticking the slit bamboo piece to make a candy. The last bit was enchanting when the Bhaiya splashed the deep red sweet syrup onto the crushed ice candy with a deft hand. We called that deep red syrup Lali simply because it colored our mouths red like lipstick. That was the treacherous clue that parents looked for if they wanted to police on their gola eating brats. We would stand at the cart and suck the juice on the candy and then take more lali from Bhaiya and he never did mind we could ask for more till the ice got over.

My Mom made this recipe thinking she could stop us from eating Gola outside our home. She made it with almost any fruit syrup viz kala khatta, lime juice, moramba, moravala, kokum syrup etc.


4-5 ice cubes
2-3 tablespoons any fruity syrup
chat masala
In the wet grinder jar add the ice cubes and the syrup run till crushed. Scoop out into a tall glass and decorate with mint leaves and chat masala. Eat the flavored crushed ice with a spoon as the street gola in now in cultured company. So at home the exciting Gola turned into SLURP~~.

Update: 24 April 2011

The pictures are of slurp made from Kairi Panha

Talleli Vangi

Near Alibag on the way to Murud there is a village called Borli/Borlai. It is very famous for its huge sized brinjals. They are as big as 1.5 feet in length and 0.5 feet in width. These are the best ones for Baigan ka bharta or fries like we do in Thal. They are very simple to make but need to watch calories when gorging on them. I have tried baking them too but don't taste as divine as the shallow fried ones.

1 huge brinjal
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon asoefotida
salt to taste
Oil to fry

Cut the brinjal into round slices about 1/2 inch thick and lightly draw a chequred pattern on the slices with a knife. Layout the pieces on a board and smear with the turmeric, salt, chili powder, asoefotida and leave to stand for 5 mins. Shallow fry the slices in a non stick pan. The fried brinjals can be eaten with steaming hot rice or rolled in a chapati. At home we kids loved it with rice so much that on the day the dal would remain untouched. In our joint family the lady who made fried brinjals for us kids got a scolding from Dad and uncles for making junk food that is sooooo oily and spoling us kids :) everytime they were made.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bambooke Bombil

This is a funny name if read in hindi it literally sounds like bombil from the bamboo. However to the Kolis Bambooke bombil means half dried Bombay duck. May be it got its name because Bombay ducks are infact dried on the bamboo. You might have seen them in Hindi films showing koli song and dance numbers. The bamboos are tied to form ladder like stilts called "Valandi" on which the Bombay ducks and other eel family fish are dried. If you go to any fishing village in and around Mumbai you will see them along the coastline. These Bambooke bombils are never sold in the market. It is strictly Koli trade family recipe if you have to taste it you got to get yourself an invitation from a Koli family or follow the recipe I have given here. This half dried bombay duck curry is very very tasty.

2-3 fresh Bombils
4 garlic pods
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups water

To make bambooke bombil:
Clean the bombils, remove the guts and head and dry in the oven at 150 degree Celsius/ 302 degree Fahrenheit till transluscent on the grill. I am not mentioning time as this varies with the size. Do not use basting of any kind. If you have the opportunity to make real bambooke bombil dry fresh ones in a cane basket for a day in direct sunlight. They would be ready to use for dinner. Ignore the smell though ;).

1 teaspoon Koli masala
OR 1/2 teaspoon garam masala + 1/2 chili powder + 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2-3 garcinia indica
1 handful coriander leaves
2 inch piece of coconut
1 green chili
salt to taste

Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste with very little water and keep the masala aside. Now the special requirement for this dish is that it has to be made in a shallow vessel called lagadi/ degchi. The reason for this is that bombil is a very delicate fish/ eel and it melts away in the curry if stirred or overcooked. You might end up with a gravy with just bones if this is over done.

So now first heat a shallow pan. Add oil. It should send up a swirl of smoke. Crush the garlic lightly and add it. Fry for 5 secs and then add the ground masala paste. Fry for 2 mins then add the Bambooke bombil that you made beforehand into the pan. Lay them gently in the pan add water just to cover the bombil. Boil for just 10 mins. DO NOT STIR AT ALL. Serve with care not to break the cooked Bambooke bombil. Your entire neighbourhood would know you made Bambooke bombil curry so try this recipe at your own risk.


This picture of Undheri was taken from the Thal shore a rain laden cloud was coming towards the village so Undheri is appearing covered by the cloud.

I was googling on Koli community to add links to my blog when I read this article on Mumbai Newsline.

The Undheri that I have known is a tiny island fort off the shore of Thal and its twin Khandheri. Undheri is in a dilapedated condition over grown with wild plants. Currently used by petty criminals as a hiding place and to make alcohol. Khandheri fortunately in under the naval control.

Some fools who think they own it are selling it to a shrewd businessman whose motive in not known. The Govt. has moved in the right direction and I wish Director (Archaeology) Dr Ramakrishna Hedge all the best. Undheri is a island fort built in Shivaji's reign and is a heritage site it needs to be protected from the hands of commercial exploiters. Adoption of this site by any corporate house can do it a lot of good.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Piyush is an exotic drink not only by name that means "Amrit" or the drink of the God's but by taste too. Piyush is a Maharashtrians love. Some may find it a tad too sweet if authentic recipe is followed but one can adjust it to the sweetness of ones choice. This is a summer cooler popular on Prakash's menu too. I don't know their recipe but as promised before here is mine.


1 generous pinch nutmeg powder

3/4 glass slightly sour butter milk

Put all the ingredients in a blender and run for just a minute. Pour the frothy blend into a tall glass and chill in the refrigerator for an hour before you enjoy it. Adjust sugar as per taste if required.

Kesari Shrikhand

This one is a Gudi padva sweet. The Maharashtrian new years day is celebrated with Shrikhand.


1 kg thick curd
1/4 teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup milk
1 cup powder Sugar/ Equal as required

To prepare Chakka:Hang the curds in a muslin cloth all night. In the morning you should have a thick creamy yogurt in the muslin cloth. This is called chakka in Marathi.

Make the shrikhand: Remove the creamy yogurt in a bowl. Mix powdered sugar in it with a wooden spoon and keep aside. Boil half cup milk with saffron and keep aside for 5 mins. Blend the milk and saffron with a whip. Now mix the saffron milk in the yogurt. Chill in the fridge for couple of hours. Check sugar as per taste. The Kesari shrikhand is ready to be licked up.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Galtarcha Sarga

These pics are shared by Dhanvant Koli, is a reader of my blog and also from my village Thal. His son, Smit reminds me of my childhood of holding the pomfret in my hand exactly the same way with a scream of joy just like this kid.

As a child I would just wait for almost any holidays to go to Thal be it Summer, Diwali, Christmas holidays or even Ganapati festival. It was a completely different world with the seashore beckoning us to play right from daybreak till night. But the most exciting was going to the "Dhela" kind of a natural jetty formed by rocks. Everyday the Galbat-boats brought the day's catch to the shore at 9.00 am. We kids would wait for special treats our staff got for us. One of the favorites was Sarga (Pomfret) boiled in seawater with a bit of turmeric. We loved to listen to the stories they narated of their time at the sea. The goodies they got for us tasted better after listening to them. I would be wide eyed and aptly listening to stories by Suresh Kaka of how he had set the pot of seawater to boil with turmeric and then as he found the Sarga he put it in the water to cook. The flash cooking of fresh seafood tastes amazing. Then he would advice us not to boil it again it will spoil the taste. He would continue, "Go home and put it on the embers in the chool- woodfired stove. Eat it hot you will grow to be a strong and intelligent girl."

As soon as he finished, we would put the boiled fish in a cane basket and run towards home through the narrow streets of the village showing off the goodies to villagers on they way and shouting yeah~~~~Galtarcha sarga. Sarga cooked on the boat.

The recipe I'm giving here is for a similar version for home cooking. It is impossible to recreate the same magic but this version too tastes good.

1 big Sarga (Pomfret) cleaned on the bone
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Olive oil for basting
salt to taste

Boil the Sarga in water along with the turmeric and salt for just 5 mins. Remove it from water onto a towel. Pat dry and generously apply the olive oil basting and grill it in a preheated oven for 10 mins or till it is slightly burnt on the outside. The Olive oil adds the sizzle to this simple dish. Eat this just as is or with crunchy salad and mayonnaise dressing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


My neighbour Rani is from Andhra Pradesh. There are several wonderful recipes we enjoyed at her home. One I love most is the Undrallu. This is a naivedya recipe she made for Ganesh Chaturthi. I googled to search for the recipe. In the process found many types of undrallu. The one she makes has chana dal cooked with jaggery ie Puran. Puran is such a versatile stuffing that it is used to make Puranpoli, kadabu, karanji too. This undrallu is simply amazing when eaten warm. The cover is crunchy like medu vada and puran becomes slightly gooey when fried. This recipe is traditionally made using chana dal but we are going to twist it a bit and use whole green lentils instead. One for a digger!


Moog Puran:

1 cup moog

1/2 cup jaggery

few raisins and chopped nuts

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powdered

1 table spoon fresh grated coconut.



1/2 cup urad dal

1/2 tablespoon rice flour

Oil for frying

Step 1

To prepare puran cook the moog in a pressure cooker with water just covering the lentils. Drain through the strainer once cooked. It should be nice and soft. Now heat a large pan and melt the jaggery. Add the cooked moog and salt. Keep stirring till the mix starts leaving the sides of the pan. The mix should be good for making balls when cooled. Add the nuts and raisins, fresh grated coconut, nutmeg powder and keep the balls ready.

Step 2

For the cover. We need to soak the urad dal for an hour. Then drain it and grind with less water. Add the rice flour to the ground dal and make batter. The batter should be slightly thicker than we make for bhajji.

Step 3

Heat oil to a boil and turn down the heat to medium. Now dip the puran balls in the batter just like you do for Batata vada and fry on medium till done. Eat warm not hot else you will burn your tongue. Smell the nutmeg flavored puran when you dig your teeth into it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


This is not a recipe but felt it really necessary to share the interesting culture associated with a simple thing like rice. Dhaan is cooked rice. It is a staple in Koli families. Rice is cooked in 2 ways.

Method I
1 cup rice in 4 cups water is boiled together till the rice is cooked. This is called Baitha Dhaan. The rice cooked this way forms a cake and is a bit sticky.

Method II
1 cup rice in 5 cups water boiled together. Check if rice is cooked. Drain through a sieve to get fluffy rice. This is called Yelnicha Dhaan.

In Thal the fisherfolk both men and women are very hard working. So the saying goes a lazy woman will make baitha dhaan but a hard working one will make Yelnicha Dhaan. Another thing if one likes baitha dhan he/ she would be asked are you old? You should be eating Yelnicha dhaan you are not old to just gulp down baitha dhaan.

Then came the era of pressure cookers. Now one gets the dirty looks from villagers which silently say you eat cooker rice, what a shame!

Isn't that interesting?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vangyacha bharit

This is a stuffed aubergines dish. Unlike the roasted aubergines paste like dish that is called vangyache bharit in Marathi, in Koli dialect bharit means stuffed. So this is Vangya cha bharit in KOLI and Bharli Vangi in Marathi. Confused?

No proplems just call its stuffed brinjals!


10 baby aubergines
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
2 onions halved and julienned
3 green chillies
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon koli masala or garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 handful coriander
salt to taste

First slit the aubergines into four parts from the bulb to stem but dont cut them apart as these would be stuffed with the masala later on. Keep the stem and cap on. After cooking they taste good and are not wasted. Now prepare the masala by first dry roasting all items and then grinding together. Keep the masala coarse it tastes better than the paste. Now stuff the masala into the aubergines and keep aside.Heat a frying pan and add oil. Carefully layout the stuffed aubergines in the pan and cover with a lid. Change sides to make sure they are cooked well from all sides. To ensure they are cooked properly, poke near the calyx or stem, it takes longest to cook near the stem. If it feels soft then stay assure they are cooked well. They have to be handled carefully else the aubergines just fall off from the stems. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Kanda bhajji

Added pics on 27th April 2008

Kanda or Onion bhajji is an anytime snack yet it stands out as rainyday snack. During the monsoons that are really heavy in Mumbai and everything comes to a virtual standstill many Mumbaikar dreams of sitting at the window to watch the pitter-patter of the rain with Onion bhajji and chaha (tea). One need not be a poet to enjoy the joy of a good kanda bhajji with tea. Yet it has found place in many peoms, writtings and anyone romantic at heart. I too grew up on this fantasy of sharing a cuppa and onion bhajji in my balcony with my beloved whispering sweet nothings on a rainy day. Is someone reading this ;). In true Maharashtrian style....isshhh(audible blush).

2 onions
2 green chillies
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 handful chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
2 pods garlic
1 small piece of ginger
1/2 cup chickpea flour
Oil to fry

Halve the onions and slice to make long thin julienes. Add salt and keep aside for 5 mins till it leaves water. Meanwhile make coarse powder of coriander seeds, cumin seed, ginger and garlic separately by just crushing. Add to the onions. Mix in the chili powder, turmeric, cilantro, chopped green chillies and the chick pea flour. Add just enough chickpea flour that the water from the onions can hold. The mix should be done with a light hand the onions should be just coated with the masala and flour. Do not shape the bhajji in to balls. Just pick up with your fingers and fry in hot oil till golden colored. These onion bhajji are really crispy and crunchy and not like bondas.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Pivli Dal

Picture added on 9 th Oct 08

This Dal is made by Koli people on Mon, Tue, Thu, or Sat. depending on which day they choose to abstain from Non veg. Can you imagine Kolis not eating fish on all those days? Neverrrrrrrrr. So on a chosen day the menu of the day would be Pivli Dal and Lasnachi chutney with Dhaan and fried papad and lonche. Eating Dal even for a single meal is a big pain for Kolis. There is a myth that if one eats Dal for dinner one will get a stomach ache. They simply don't like veg much. Hence you will notice that the Dal is made more in Non-veg style never plain. It has a yellow color after cooking hence the name Pivli dal actually it greenish yellow.

It was a surprise to find this Dal in Kerala. We had checked into a hotel in Periyar after a 4 hr drive from Munnar. My Dad was craving for Dal-n-rice. We ordered and were surprised to get the Dal made in this style with fried Rice papads, pickle etc. Ate our fill and snored away into the sultry afternoon. Even the surroundings there were like we were in a orchad in Alibag, Maharashtra. We travel to explore unkown lands yet the heart always goes back to our roots.

1 cup Tur Dal
1 potato cut into 4 parts
1 table spoon Moong Dal (yellow)
1/2 teaspoon Mustard
2-3 pods garlic
1-2 red chilies
salt to taste
3 cups water
2 teaspoon oil

3 inch piece coconut
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 handful coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 green chillies

Lets start with making the masala. Grind together all item into a paste and keep aside.

Method 1: with uncooked Dals and potato
In a small pressure cooker heat oil and splutter mustard seeds. Mash the garlic pods a bit and and to the phodni (seasoning) in the oil and the red chili.Fry a bit to make garlic soft. Then add the masala and stir 2 -3 times. Last add the 2 Dals, potato, salt and water. Close the lid and pressure cook as you normally do. After the whistles, put of the gas and let it cool. When you open the cooker just mix well take care not to mash the potatoes. The Dal is ready eat with rice. The Potato pieces have to be large and they taste amazing when cooked in this dal.

Method 2:with cooked Dals/potato

Heat oil, splutter mustard. Fry the garlic and the red chili. Add cooked Dals and boiled potato. Boil for 5 mins. Add masala, salt and boil for 10 mins. This is more authentic way.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Amboshiche Lonche

Normally a pickle is never made at home in Koli families. But this one is an exception and a speciality. Koli's being from the konkan and Mangoes being available in plenty we understand this recipe being specific to this area. Amboshi as you know from my earliesh post is Amchur ie. sun dried Raw mango slices. This pickle lasts well and tastes completely different from your regular mango pickle.


1 cup amboshi
1 cup jaggery
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup oil

First steam the amboshi to make it soft in a pressure cooker. It should not be dipped in water else it will give a pulp. The steamed amboshi should be strained to remove any excess water. Let the amboshi cool off completely.

Heat a pan pour about a tablespoon of oil and add the jaggery to it. Keep stirring till it melts and turns golden. Then add the amboshi and salt to it and mix well.

Heat the rest of the oil separately and pour over the pickle while still hot.

Let it cool for a day. After 24 hrs store in a bottle. This pickle last for years.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Valachi Khichadi

Hi friends! I am back from my Diwali break. I was excited to read your comments. Thanks for writting. I will reply one by one.

Well to begin with today's recipe is not a Koli recipe. It is more of a Kayasth recipe. I love this rice recipe for the unique taste quite different than your regular pulao.

1 cup raw rice
1 cup sprouted val
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
2 green chillies split
1 onion chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups water
some chopped cilantro and fresh shredded coconut for garnishing
2 tomatoes chopped (optional)

Sprouting Val:
This requires 3 days. First soak 1/4 cup val in water for 1 day. At night tie the soaked val in a muslin cloth to sprout. Sprinkle water just to wet the pouch of val so the sprouts grow well thru the second day. On the third day the sprouts are ready for further processing.

Now Boil some water in a pan and put the val sprouts in it. This will loosen the skin, deskin the sprouts to get the yellowish sprouts. Keeps the sprouts aside.

Main procedure:
Now heat a small cooker add oil and fry the onions. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry. Add the rest of the ingredients and last the washed rice and sprouts. Add 2 cups water. After 2 whistles put of the gas. Open after the steam has subsided. Stir lightly so that the rice grains are not mashed. While serving garnish with some chopped cilantro and fresh shredded coconut. Enjoy the smells and flavours!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Titillations Coming Soon

Valacha varan
Kairichi Aamti
Pithachi bore
Ukadiche modak
Kejyarcha lonche
God Ghari
Chavlya-Batayachi Bhaji
Lasnachi chutney
Chaoolachi pheni
Methiche ladoo
Kardache lonche
Shraddhachi kheer
Shev Chiwada
Barshyache Chane
Khobryachi Chikki

Suke Sodyacha Kanji
Tallela Bombil
Isavanachi Bhaji
Basic Kanji
Basic Talleli Tukdi
Basic Bhuzna
Suke Bombil Batatyache Kanji
Kata Pisaryache kanji
Tavyarche Khare
Talleli Mushi
Paktache kanji

Happy Diwali to all fellow bloggers!

Lal Dal

This Dal is a quick yummy recipe made on days when there isn't good fish catch in koli families. In my home it is made when we eat too much at odd times other than meal timmings and during festivals when we want a simple meal after all the hogging of sweets or have a craving for some comfort food. It gets its name from the masoor dal used to make it.


1/2 cup of Masoor Dal (Lal Dal)
1 medium onion halved and sliced
2 pieces of Amboshi (Sundried mango slices)/ kokum/ tomatoes
2 green chillies
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 handful chopped green coriander
few curry leaves
1 pinch hing
1/2 teaspoon Koli masala (optional)
5-6 small white onions peeled but whole
2 cups water
1 table spoon oil
salt to taste

Soak Lal (Masoor) Dal for half an hour. In a vessel add oil splutter mustard seeds add hing, curry leaves and chopped onion fry till onion is translucent. Add the rest of the spices except amboshi. Add soaked masoor dal stir a bit and then add all the water. Add the peeled whole white onion into the dal.  Cook till almost done with lid on. Then add amboshi/ kokum/ tomatoes and salt and cook on slow for 5 mins till amboshi/ tomatoes are soft and the sour flavor is mixed with the dal. Kokum can also be used but remember these two have complete distinct flavors. The Dal when done should be nice and smooth and really thick in consistency. Add chopped coriander to garnish. Have this dal with steaming hot rice. The dal should be thick enough to just sit on the rice waiting to be mixed with the hand and fingers to be licked while eating. Yummmmmy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Moongori/ Moongavri is not my favorite but has many crazy fans the type who like slurpy sweets and old world charms like my Dad. It is pleasant childhood memories for people of his generation who grew up in the village and came to mumbai for holidays and later Mumbai became their life.
This is a wedding sweet and is made on the day after the wedding when the newly married are brought to the brides home for a ritual called "Drushta kadhne" that is to save them from evil eye. People believed those who attended the wedding would be gushhing about the newly weds and how lucky they were so there needed to be a ritual to protect them from getting bad luck. This sweet is part of the lunch following the "Drushta kadhne" and it is usually smeared over everyones face more than it gets eaten. So we always hide if we happen to attended this ritual but most of the time end up in the washroom cleaning up ourselves. This sweet is also offered as Naivedya on many ocassions.

1/ cup rice flour
1/2 cup water
2 table spoon ghee
1/cup jaggery
1 fresh coconut


Stage 1
Boil the water and mix rice flour and make Ukad like we did for the rice roti. Knead the dough and make marble sized balls smaller the better and keep aside.

Stage 2
Grate the coconut and grind with a little water in the mixie. Squeeze out the milk and keep aside. Use the coconut cake again and grind with more water and squeeze out more milk. Keep the second milk in a separate pan. Try to extract coconut milk the third time. The third milk can be kept in the same pan containing second extract.

Stage 3
Heat a big pot on medium. Add the ghee and pour the second and third extract milk in it. Reduce heat and simmer the coconut milk along with jaggery. After the jaggery is dissolved add the marbles you made in stage 1 to the boiling liquid. Boil for 5 mins. Then add the first extract and boil for another 10 mins. Take care not to keep heat on high as coconut milk might split as we have used jaggery. The sweet should be boiled down to a slurpy thickness of choice.

Remove from heat and serve warm. Mongoori or Moongavri is ready to eat. BTW my Mom's maternal uncle had a surname Moongavri and everyone teased Mom about it when she was a kid :)

Badampak er Shengdanepak

Kiran Desai wins a Booker for The Inheritance of Loss the news flashed on the TV. I had never heard of her before but a closer look at the TV screen and I mumbled I guess she is Anita Desai's daughter. Yes google confirmed it. In many ways I learnt Kiran is chip of the old block and has gone ahead and achieved what her mother just missed. Anita Desai is one writer I loved as a child. I loved Indian English novels more than Shakespeare-Agatha Christie as they had alien settings. Other thing is I became famous in my class VIII as someone having a native place called Thal pronounced as Thul near Alibag across the Mumbai harbour. Anita Desai had set her novel "The Village by the sea" in Thul. She has gone with the pronounciation to spell it in the novel. I was the first one to read this book as soon as it was added to the school library. Then I wrote a review of it in the school magazine and was famous overnight. All the girls would dreamily ask me "Oh is Thul so beautiful? Lets go there for the annual picnic." The novel has an undertone of sadness as Hari the protogonist struggles in life along with with his sister Lila. However that seemed far away for the elite class in my school. To them it was romantic to be poor and struggling and that was a sure shot attraction. I gave my expert comment too in my review I remember about the cover of the book. Lila if she is a fisherman's daughter would never cover her head with a cloth. That girl looks like she is from a village in Gujarath or Rajasthan! Inspite of the incorrect minor details "The Village by the Sea" is eloquent about Thal and a must read. Its a book close to my heart.

So today I am going to give a recipe of a sweet called Badampak that is uniquely Thal. I haven't heard of this one anywhere else. There are two Grocer's families which make it really well in the village. Though it is called badampak it is actually a shengadanepak. May be in the old days people used badam but now they use shengdane. I am going to make this sweet to make my Diwali unique though it is not a traditional Diwali sweet.


1 cup peanuts

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

4-6 cardamoms ground

Soak peanuts in water overnight after washing them thoroughly. Next morning grind them to coarse powder and keep aside.

Next prepare the pak or the sugar syrup in a vessel. The sugar is boiled with 1/2 cup water. The syrup is ready if it has achieved one string consistency. To check this dip your thumb in the syrup and hold it between the second finger. It should have a sticky string between the thumb and finger.

Now mix the soaked peanut powder in the syrup and stir. Add the powdered cardamom into the mix and stir. Pour it out in a greased tray. The layer should be about an inch thick. Let it cool and then cut while still warm into daimond shapes. But eat them after a day for best taste.

(Added  the new picture today on 14th April 2012, have made it for the blogger friend Pradnya of Evolving Taste, Harini of Tongue Ticklers and Saee of My Jhola.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


It is a doughnut made from rice flour with a unique method of preparation. Ghari is a wedding preparation. It is served as wedding breakfast with Chavlya-batatyachi (Black-Eye Peas and potato) bhaji and Kolim (baby shrimps).
Since this is a wedding item it has a lot of rituals associated with it. It would begin with washing and drying the rice to be used for the Ghari by a group of women who would sing songs of the young bride or groom describing their beauty and the emotion they are going through on the threshold of marriage. The group would start from the wedding home to the village well or sometimes the sea to wash the rice. The quatities would be something like 30 kgs of rice for the entire village's requirement of Ghari. Yes the entire village would be invited for the wedding. It would begin with doing a small puja and breaking a coconut. This necessarily would be done by a Saubhagyavati (a married women whose husband is alive). After washing it would be dried on the plastic sheets or mats borrowed from the entire neighbourhood else how would one dry 30 kgs of rice in one go. This drying was done on the seashore where normally fish is dried in large open spaces specially held for business use.
After drying the rice would be taken to the local flour mill. A little aarti would be done for the mill hand who would grind the rice offer him a coconut. Tease him a bit by smearing a little turmeric paste on his face.
The above would be done a few days before the wedding. The eve before the wedding all the women of the village gathered to help in making the dough. It would begin with boiling huge vessels of water on wood fired make shift stoves made from bricks just like the construction workers do in India. Here only expert women were allowed. Then in the boiling water the rice flour would be added to make the Ukad as it is called. Then this huge amount of cooked flour would be poured out on large mats to cool a bit and the lesser skilled women would seat around the mountain of dough to knead it. Me as a little girl and other brats would pester Mom and the other aunts to give a us little dough to play with to make our own tiny gharis.
The next step is done by the most skilled women. One of my far way aunt called Manu Kaki would be invited to do this work by the whole village. She did it just right. Villagers said she was respected for her skill if somebody else did it the batch failed and no one would want to take that risk at a wedding.
To begin with Manu Kaki would take a huge Tapela (flat bottomed Aluminium vessel) clean it thoroughly apply oil to it. Then put the dough in such a way as to line up the walls and bottom. She would leave a little well in the center. Now this is the interesting part. She would add red hot charchoal in the well of dough. Seal the well with more dough and then cover tightly with a lid. This vessel would then be taken to a prohibitted area to leave it for frementation all night. We kids were warned not to dare to go near the pots else "phatke bastil" (you will get a whack).
The whole thing about Ghari is so interesting it makes me nostalgic even the weddings in my village have gone glitzy now they don't happen like this any more.
To move on, the morning of the wedding few women would rise early to make the breakfast. The dough checked, charcoal removed from the centre, first the palms are wet with water and a small part of the dough would be taken in the palms and shaped like a doughnut or medu vada and deep fried in huge oil kadai on medium heat till golden. The first batch of Ghari's were made by a Old lady in our village who was believed to have supernatural intervention. I knew though even as a kid she some how had the capacity to stand the heat of oil. She would dip her hands in the boiling hot oil to removed the fried gharis and the first batch were put on a patravli (plate made from leaves) and offered to the family God as naivedya. I can actually sense your eyes popping out at this but I have witnessed this myself. Then other women would take turns to fry till all the gharis were done as it is not possible for one single women to do all the frying.
Here I am giving the method Mom followed to make ghari for a small family.
1 cup rice
1 cup water
Oil to fry
Wash rice 2 day before you want to make ghari and dry it in the sun or shade does not matter. The rice is tested by chewing a few grains it should be nice and crumbly. Then grind the rice in dry grinder to a fine powder like any other flour/atta.
Now heat 1 cup water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice flour and mix using a rolling pin. Remove from heat and take out the ukad (cooked dough) on a flat board and knead well if required dip your hand in water to make it softer. This dough should be slightly harder than the chapathi dough. Now put in in a vessel and create a well in the dough. Now next heat half a cup of oil till it starts smoking and pour into the well in the dough. Seal the well with more kneaded dough and close the vessel with a tight lid. Keep the vessel in a dark dry place for fermenting all night.
Next morning remove the lid the dough should smell only slightly sour due to fermentation but not too much. Pour out the excess oil from the center. Then dip your palm in water and shape the doughnuts like medu vada with the hole in the centre. Fry them in oil on medium heat till golden. Check the first one by breaking it into two if the inside is cooked properly if not then slow down the heat a bit. The Ghari should be hard on the outside and soft on the inside. It can be had with any gravy or dip. One thing to remember no salt should be added to Ghari dough it is traditionally bland in taste.

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