Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kachaloo: JFI Potato

Kachaloo is my entry for the Jihva for POTATO . Thank you Vaishali for hosting and Indira for the ingenous idea. I also take the oppotunity to CONGRATULATE Indira for the Best Food Indiblog of the year 2006.

This recipe is shared with us by my Dentist friends Asif and Seema. Asif is a Muslim married to his classmate Seema a Jat. They have had some difficult times with family due to their inter religious marriage but in Mumbai these two have built an alternative family with all their patients.

Asif is a superspecialist in orthodontics yet quite a good cook. I think creativity if it is in you gets expressed in what ever one does. There are lot of things I learn from him. Inspite of being a busy person he maintains a superb balance by taking frequent small breaks from work. He also builds a relationship with his patients that both value a lot. Seema his wife I guess was impressed with exactly these qualities in Asif during the 4.5 yrs when they were students and now they have a lovely family with the addition of Muskan and Aman.

My Dad was one of his first patients and refuses to let even Seema treat him. It has to be Asif for him. Over the years our family ties have solidfied. Is Kachaloo the reason?? May be ! Apart from it being tasty in all these 9 years that we have known them Asif makes it himself for us for Iftar. Yes atleast one Iftar during Ramzan he makes sure to invite us if we are around in Mumbai.
Gosh I'm so sorry! Sandeepa thanks for letting me know. This blogger was acting funny yesterday and I had trouble posting. I cut/ pasted 2 -3 times and got fed up and skipped the final check I normally do after posting! I'll be more careful next time.

So here you go.


1 cup bolied potato quartered
1/2 cup each of 4-5 fruits cut in same sizes
2 teaspoon dry roasted cumin seeds.
1 teaspoon chat masala
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon / lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a big bowl mix all the fruits and potato. I used lime, orange, apple, pineapple, papaya and banana. Add the dry powders, salt, sugar cover with a lid and shake vigourly to mix the ingredients. Serve on banana leaves squares for the traditional bit.

Look up here for other potato recipes:

Walnut Choclate Cake

It is the end of the month so here is a treat I made for me after some low cal stuff. This is a light cup cake when dunked in cold milk gives the brownie a run. Its very simple to make.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina
1 1/2 cup powder sugar
4 tablespoons drinking chocolate
2 tables spoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup curds
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons ghee/ butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon soda bicarbonate
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon salt
To begin in a small bowl mix the semolina with curds and soda bicarbonate. This will make the semolina fluffy when baked. Meanwhile combine all dry items like all purpose flour, drinking chocolate, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sieve to aerate them. Keep aside.
In a large bowl beat the ghee/ butter with sugar till light and fluffy. To this slowly add the aerated dry items mixed with flour. Mix gently in circular clockwise motion to get a smooth batter. Add the curd soaked semolina and stir slowly to get homogeneous mix. Now pour in the milk and mix well. The batter now should be nice pouring consistency. Pre heat oven for 10 mins at 190 deg cel.
Get the paper cups ready by greasing them and dusting them with flour. Just before you fill them up coat the walnuts pieces with flour so that they don't sink to the bottom and mix with the batter. Now fill the cups only to half capacity. Line them up in a tray and bake for 20 mins or till you get a slight crust on the top.
Walnut Chocolate Cake when still warm serve with cold milk. Dunking is the right thing to do. Shoo away any distraction and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stuff Paratha Minus Aloo

The paratha always made me guilty with the potato and ghee laden versions. In my struggle with weight I have learnt a few things though to make eating guilt free.

This version of stuff parantha or Prontha as the Dheer's would call it is minus the potato and the ghee. What you see in the plate is a bowl of curd with chat masala sprinkle, the stuff paratha, Chunda and the hot raw mango pickle. The platter is a balance of taste with the sour, sweet, spice and salt. It is a complete meal with the carbs in the dough and protiens in the peas with curd to balance the pH in the tum.


For the stuffing:

2 onions chopped fine
1 tomato chopped fine
2-3 green chillies chopped fine
1 cup fresh green peas
2 teaspoon oil.
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds coarsely crushed
1 bay leaf
handful of cilantro chopped fine
few curry leaves
salt to taste

In a wok add the oil and heat. First fry the onions to nice pink. Add the dry ingredients in the order of turmeric, chili, coriander, fennel, bay leaf and stir to fry well. Take in the aroma should make you hungry;). Add the peas and cook till done. Once soft use a ladle to crush the peas a bit later you will know why. Then add the tomatoes and keep stirring to get a dry mix. Once that's done just before removing from heat add the cilantro, chopped green chillies the curry leaves, salt and mix well. Allow to cool completely.

For the cover:

1 cup wheat flour.
2 teaspoons oil
3/4 cup water
salt to taste

While the the stuffing is cooling get the dough ready. In a bowl measure out the flour. Rub in the oil into the flour and add salt. Last knead the dough by adding the water. The dough should be a little soft. Leave it for 1/2 hr to stand.

To Roll out and Roast:

Divide the dough into 5 equal parts. With oiled hand shape into a basket. Fill the basket with 1-2 table spoons of the stuffing we made earlier and close the mouth of the basket by gathering the dough together to make a now stuffed ball. Flatten the ball between the palms. Flour the counter lightly and pat the ball to roll out like a pattie. This should distribute the stuffing evenly before we roll out the paratha. Since we are using peas when we roll out they just surface up through the cover just tearing it when we put pressure. So now you know why we crushed it when we got the stuffing ready. Its a smart thing to do so that you get the perfectly rolled out parathas with the cover intact. At home everyone loves to play the guessing game about the stuffing when the perfect parathas are served.

Heat the girdle and roast till one side is done turn over and roast the other side. The parathas are done when they are freckled. I did not use any ghee to roast. But if you don't have to worry too much about your weight go ahead and use it or just use it when you are in an indulgent mood.


When roasting any type of rotis/paratha use a twice folded kitchen napkin to swirl the rotis. It helps to puff up the roti with the light pressure and roast it evenly. Else one can wear oven gloves too if you prefer to roll out all the rotis first and then roast all at one time.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Boondi and Raita

It was the year 1982 when we met the the Dheer family for the first time. Sudarshan Uncle, Hardesh Aunty, Gauri and Reva. I still remember their ethic styled home with a very mordern kitchen with a hole in the wall from where Hardesh Aunty doled out hot rotis off the tava straight into the waiting plates. They are a typical Jat family that enjoys treating the guest to a hearty punjabi meal. I am a strong believer that bonds are strengthened over food shared together. Its true in case of the many friends that we have made over the years and our friendship with the Dheer family is an example of that besides the fact that my Dad and Sudarshan Uncle (why am I saying that coz I call him Dheer uncle anyways) believe in the same things in life like Yoga, alternative therapies, social responsibilities and spiritualism etc.
It was my first meal in a Punjabi home. We had frequented Delhi Darbar, Copper Chimney and Kandil few times a year before that. The few things I associate with Punjabi home cooked food are Boondi raita, Roti, Adraki dal, Basmati rice and the welcome drink Thandai. I can't say the same about the restaurants I don't remember their menu any more as my memories of eating non-veg at restraunts have now been discolored.
The Dheers had a great influence on me. Sudarshan Uncle for his sense of aesthetics and minimalism. This great master to show his love had designed a logo for yours lovingly's venture or mis-adventure should I say. Hardesh Aunty for her sheer grit and pride that she never compromised on. I still love her bear hugs when ever we meet. Gauri and Reva for the many books we shared together and our heated debates on P. G. Woodhouse vs. Somerset Maugham. (Now you will know where my love for Ginger Ale began)
Here is the recipe of Boondi raita that became a must in our home as an accompaniment with any type of pronthas/ parathas after that first enjoyable and memorable meal at the Dheer's.
1/2 cup khari boondi (salted chickpea flour pearls)
1 cup fresh curds
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
How to make khari boondi:
Mix 1/2 cup chickpea flour with 2 tablespoon water to get thick batter. Through a slotted spoon drop the pearls in hot oil and fry till crispy. Drain on a mesh or absorbent paper.
To make the Raita:
In a big bowl add the curd top it with boondi and dress up with chat masala and red chilli powder by sprinkling over it.
This raita is best when you are running out of fresh veggies. Most kids who complain about koshimbir will love this one and even lap it up as a snack.
The next post coming guessed it right ...Stuff Paratha!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Baking Bug Again

One restless Saturday night I had to bake else I would not be able to sleep. I was playing around with the basic Classic White bread recipe which you know how much I love. I started with getting the yeast slurry ready at 10pm not a good time to start a baking project. Come to think of it I do like to do it at that hour of the day. It makes me feel like a pro yet the baker's toque is missing. I loved to watch the bakers at work in the Mumbai bakeries as a kid but little did I understand about hygiene then. I also remember the visit to Britannia's Sewri plant organized by my classmate Maria D'Souza through her Dad ages ago. That was the first time I saw the kneading machines and huge racks loaded with fresh baked loaves the mesmerizing effect lasted long.

Gopium brought back at lot of memories to me of Fort and the walk home from school all the way from Regal just to save up the bus fare to feast on samosa and Goldspot in the school canteen. We passed by Yazdani's and the Monginis first bakery before they shifted to Andheri plant. Taking in the wafts of fresh bakes and eagerly awaiting Chacha Deepak of Akbarally's to hand out the Monginis cakes and goodies every Divali. Chacha Deepak was Akbarally's answer to Santa.

Getting back to the baking fantasy:

Step 1

Once dough was ready. Oiled the tray shape the breads. I made one plain one cheese. For the Primitive Cheese bread made deep cuts in one plain bread and filled up with cheddar cheese cubes. I'm saying primitive as now I have advanced to make a better one that is going to be one of my upcoming posts.

Step 2

Put the tray in a jumbo plastic bag and secured a knot on it. Made sure the plastic was way above the dough to give it enough place to rise. By then the clock struck zero hour. Heard Dad yell from his bedroom, Kai chalay ajoon? Go to bed immediately. Like an obedient daughter [at My age ;) ] went straight to bed.

Step 3

With the fermenting going on could not sleep. Woke up at 4.30 am on Sunday. Got fresh. How I enjoy creating in a fantasy world around myself to get the feel of a pro. Opened the jumbo bag to see the dough doubled. It was a cold night so not too much rise in the dough else that could possibly make the bread collapse.

Step 4

Preheated the oven for 10 mins and thrust the tray into the oven. Set the timer for 45 mins. Went off to have a shower as it was 5.30 am already after instructing Dad to keep a watch on the oven.

It should have been just 30 mins baking time as the breads look extra browned. Next time it will be just 30 mins I decide.

A pleasant Sunday morning with fresh baked warm bread and a cuppa at 6.30 am. Pure bliss!

Also read

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lal Bhopla Stir Fry

This is a quick stir fry very tasty and goes well with a hot roti of any kind. The Lal bhopla or Red Pumkin can be cooked in several different ways like raita, with gavar or in a gravy. The red pumkin can be used in cooking fasting foods too it is acceptable. Read more on wiki about Pumkins.
1 cup red pumkin cut into 2 inch fingers
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 pinch asofoetida
few curry leaves
Optionally garnish with grated fresh coconut
1 teapoon oil
salt to taste
Heat oil on high splutter mustard seeds. Add the asofoetida, curry leaves, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Then in go the pumkin fingers stir and cook till soft but till pumkin holds shape. Remove from heat and garnish with coconut.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Papaya Banana Smoothie

Here is how I relax on a lazy sunday afternoon. It is my time with a cooler, some music and hair let loose after the wash rolling on this dhurrie with a book in hand.

The ipod nano you see here has a story. My dear friends Alok and Varsha or should I say my siblings, long lost in the Kumbh Mela we found each other now, wanted to gift it to me. I am one ungraceful person when it comes to accepting expensive gifts. I promised to use it if they kept it with them. So since then the ipod has become my partner in crime for blogging. I use it as a pen drive to carry data from home to work from where I finally post. Alok and Varsha are my adorable guinea pigs in My Kitchen lab. I have seen their faces twist up on gulping some experimental stuff and yet say its good with a funny smile. Then we laugh at our joke on Belbin's theory and Myers-Briggs instrument. It is our passtime to apply it to silly things. They have missed this cooler so posting it here for them untill I make it next time just for them.

My guinea pigs at Nandi hills. Its the closest I could get them to pose ;)!!

How to make it:

Equal amounts of papaya and banana blend together with sugar if required. I don't use any as these fruits are really sweet. When serving add few cubes of papaya and banana slices to dress up the smoothie. Serve chilled.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Green Tomato Topping on Crackers

Finger Foods are something I love and they bring out the real creative side. I love to decorate crackers with a variety of toppings. Here is a lovely recipe for a chutney that is so versatile that it can be used for topping as I have done here or as a spread for sandwich, in a Thali with other assortments and even sauce with fried food. Its simple and done in a zip zap zoom.


1 cup green tomatoes quartered
1 cup red onions
2-3 green chillies
handful fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pinch asafoetida
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 pods garlic (I did not use it)

First heat the oil in a shallow frypan. Splutter mustard seeds add in asafoetida. Dump the onions and fry till translucent. Then in go the tomatoes, chillies and cilantro. Saute till very soft. It might get pasty not to worry anyways we need to grind it. Lastly add the sugar and salt and blend in a blender to get a smooth paste.
I did not use any water as I was going to use it as a topping for this recipe. Incase you want to thin it a bit for other use then go ahead and add a bit of water.

Placed the Britannia Cream Cracker in a plate layed a square slice of cheese and topped with the Green tomato topping and stuck in the cilantro sprig in it. Bordered the plate with dots of the same topping and cilantro sprigs.

Gunta Pangana, Paddu, Appe

I was going through Asha's when I decided to make these for MBP. Thanks Coffee and Thanks Asha and Menu Today. This is one good Finger Food!

I took the sour dosa batter added fine chopped onions, bit pieces of coconut, fine chopped green chillies and salt. Poured the batter in well oiled mould and flipped once to roast the other side. Tasty paddus were ready to eat right out of the mould with chutney. Still licking my fingers.

Here is my tava since I oiled it well had no probs flipping them.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Matar Batate Pohe

In Maharashtra Kande Pohe is an everyday breakfast umm...I would say actually an anytime snack yet mostly a breakfast dish. When guys go to meet future brides this dish is the standard welcome dish at the girl's home so mischievously they comment on the weekend "Kande Pohe khale" masking the fact they went to meet a girl!

Since it is so common not my favorite but I like this version called Matar Batate Pohe which is made at our home. Try it. Its yummy and filling.


1 cup beaten rice/ pohe
1 onion slivers
1/2 cup fresh green peas/Matar
1/2 cup boiled and diced potatoes/ batata
1 pinch asofoetida
2-3 green chillies
handful fresh coriander
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
hand full curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1-2 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste

First of all soak the beaten rice in water for just 5 mins and drain on a mesh. Leave it there.

Then Heat the oil in a vessel. Splutter the mustard seeds add the asofoetida. Add in the chopped chillies, curry leaves and then add the onions. Fry the onions till translucent. Then add in the green peas and cook covered till soft. Add in the turmeric mix well follwed by boiled and diced potatoes. Finally add the soaked beaten rice. Mix thoroughly but with a light hand not to crush the beaten rice too much. Add the salt and sugar and cover and cook till you see steam over the pohe.

Garnish with lemon juice, coconut and coriander. Enjoy!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Avare Kaalu Mixture

Its is Mahashivaratri today and many of you must be fasting on this day. Today one should fast in the real way and not by feasting on food that is special on such days. Yet for those of who love to cook but not eat today here is a preservation recipe you can try. We shall say good bye and farewell to the Indian winters with this Avare Kaalu mixture yet enjoy the Avare even after the season is over just like the Kanadigas do.

Recently we visited friends in Chintamani 70 kms from Blr. The family gave us so much love that it got difficult to take their leave. It was a day full of sharing all from their side. Since they know how much I like to know about culture and sacred heirlooms they opened up a treasure to me. They are a noble family in the real sense. I took some pictures that will be in my private treasure till I'm alive. This recipe is shared with us by Shri Venkatesh Murthy family.


1 cup Avare Kaalu
1/4 cup peanuts
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Oil to fry

First we are going to get the Avare dal ready as explained in highlighted para in the Avare Hidikbele Sambar post. Pat dry the Hidikbele on a kitchen napkin.

Heat the oil. On medium heat fry the hidikbele till crisp. Also fry the peanuts till golden brown. Drain on a mesh or absorbent paper. While the fries are still hot sprinkle the chilli powder and salt and mix well. This mixture can be stored after cooling completely for almost a month. If stored in tuperware it should stay good for atleast six months in the fridge.

Enjoy the munchies with your favorite hot or cold drink.

Check out other Avare Recipes:

Keep Visiting. 22 Exciting Recipes In The Draft.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Warm Carrot n Cabbage Salad

After spending his entire life in his beloved Mumbai Dad moved to Blr to be with me but the dynamic weather gives him ENT infections. He is fond of food that is chilled like veg salads and cold drinks. However here in blr he is not able to enjoy chilled food. So what we now do is we blanch the veggies and make more warm drinks. Here is a simple salad we tried in this fashion and we created a new drink too at the end of it. We christened the drink as Carrotini! The recipe is the second post for the day.


1/4 kg carrots coarse shreds
1 cup coarse shreds cabbage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh pepper powder
1/2 lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Put the carrots in a saucepan and add water just to cover it. Cook them till water starts boiling. Drain the water through a mesh. Collect the stock and store. We will make a Carrotini from it later.

Similarly blanch the cabbage shreds and drain through a mesh. Discard the stock or if you like store it for later use.

In a large Salad bowl mix the blanched carrots and cabbage. Remember blanching normally involves quick cooking in boling water and cooling in cold water. But here we will allow the cooling to happen on its own as we require a certain warmth in the salad. Squeeze the lemon juice over the salad add in the salt and sugar. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Then sprinkle the pepper powder and mix again and serve immediately.


No No this is not orange juice scroll down to read the recipe.


1 glass carrot stock from Warm Carrot n Cabbage Salad.
1 cup sweet lime juice/ Ginger Ale
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender and pour into glasses and chill for an hour before you serve. Even warm tastes good.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

P for PuranpoLi

My Bonnie lies over the ocean
My Bonnie lies over the sea
My Bonnie lies over the ocean
Oh bring back my Bonnie to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me
Last night as I lay on my pillow
Last night as I lay on my bed
Last night as I lay on my pillow
I dreamed that my Bonnie was LOST.
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me
Oh blow ye the winds o'er the ocean
And blow ye the winds o'er the sea
Oh blow ye the winds o'er the ocean
And bring back my Bonnie to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me
The winds have blown over the ocean
The winds have blown over the sea
The winds have blown over the ocean
And brought back my Bonnie to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me

Note: I changed one word to lost. Sorry scottish folks today is Valentines day and allow me the liberty.

Happy Valentines Day to You!

I woke this morning real early and excited and started singing this song. There are so many love songs but today this one was the one I was singing.

So it is P for PuranpoLi


For the Puran (Stuffing):
1/4 kg Chana dal
1/8 kg jaggery
1/8 kg sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and cardamom powder

For the Cover:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water to knead

Step 1:

Wash the chana dal and cook it in a pressure cooker with water just covering the dal. I use a small cooker which gives long whistles so allowed 5 of them. Allow the cooker to cool.

Step 2:

Meanwhile measure out the flour and mix when dry itself to get homgenous mix. Now rub in half the oil into the flour with your hand. Later add the water and knead to get a smooth dough if required use a bit more water but make sure that it is not sticky. Leave it in a oiled bowl to stand while you get the puran ready.

Step 3:

Now open the cooled pressure cooker and drain out the excess water if any. Add in the sugar and jaggery and keep stirring with a wooden flat ladle. Cook till the puran leaves the sides of the pan and the ladle if thrust into the puran stand upright. It should be like a soft cake.

While it is still hot pass it thru a puran machine (or meat grinder for those of you outside India). At this point add the nutmeg and cardamom powder and mix with hand. This will give you a smooth cake.

Step 4:

Now to Roll it out:

Knead the dough that we prepared in Step 2 once with a bit of oil. Keep aside a bowl of water and oil ready. Now take a lemon sized bal in your hands dip your hand in water knead in your palms itself. Then dip your hand in oil and knead again. The dough now should be elastic. Shape a cup with the dough to fill in the puran stuffing just like you do for a paratha.

Now lightly flour the counter and pat the stuff ball flat with your fingers. Then with a light hand roll out to form the poLi just like chapati/ pizza bread.

Step 5:


The last and important step is roasting. It is the tough part as it has a sugar/jaggery based stuffing that melts and it just oozes out. If it does the PoLi starts caramelizing and sticking to the girdle.

So use a non stick girdle and the heat should be on medium. Gently put the PoLi on to roast it from one side lift it with a flat ladle and roast from other side. The poli is roasted when you see freckles on it. After it is done from both sides apply ghee on the side facing upward fold and apply on the topside of the fold. Remove it from the girdle onto a kitchen napkin and grease the other side of the poLi with ghee. Make the remain poLis in the same way.

I made real huge ones and could make only six of them. It was a dream come true on sunday. Its the first time my poLis turned out so good. None of them charred or tore open. I was tutored for it by our priest wife when she visited us last summer. I had tried to make 2-3 times after that but this batch really made me say now I can make PuranpoLis too :).

This is a difficult recipe so I have used the smallest proportions but daredevils can try! Results are bliss!!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cauliflower in Red Chilli Sauce

This one is made on the run by my Dad for me on a day when I returned home real tired and didn't want to eat anything. On the day I was going to eat my dinner at work itself but called Dad and told him that we will eat together and that I was on the way home. Normally I eat rice only on weekends but when I'm tired I just crave for Varan bhat or really soft Khichdi. Dad as usual wanted me to enjoy a bit more even when my bones were complaining. He did a surprise he loves to do it. Got the cooker ready with a pan of rice and cauliflower. Here is what he served me. Just seeing the stir fry I reached out for a fork to eat else I always need to eat with my fingers at the end of a long hard day at work.

This one is absolutely no fuss but just taste if for yourself and let me know.


1 cup boiled cauliflower
1 tablespoon Ching's Red chilli sauce
1 teaspoon oil
2 chillies ( Dad used 1 red 1 green both fresh)

Heat oil. Slit chillies so that they don't burst when frying. Add to the oil and stir add the bolied and drained cauliflower and stir to coat with oil. Add the red chilli sauce and cook cover for just five minutes. Adjust the salt if you may. The stir fry is ready in a jiffy. I enjoyed it with plain rice. One morsel veggies One mouthful rice. For a change I din't need a curry on my rice.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Gavar Raita

Gavar or flat beans as it is called has several combos read about it on Manisha's IFR and immediately I decided I had to shared this recipe with you guys. It is simple and tasty. So without much fanfare here you go.


1/4 kg flat beans/ Gavar
2 cups thick fresh yogurt
2 - 3 dry red chillies
big pinch of asoefotida
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
few curry leaves
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

Heat oil in a pot and add the asoefotida, splutter mustard add in the curry leaves and broken pieces of red chillies. Once the curry leaves have turned crispy add the washed, destringed and broken pieces of Gavar into the seasoning stir to coat the beans evenly. Cover and cook the beans till done. Stir once in a while so that the Gavar doesn't char. If you notice it is drying up sprinkle a handful of water cover and cook. But remember the taste of gavar changes once water is added so use water only if required and in only sprinkles . Finally whisk the yogurt in a bowl and add to the Gavar and mix well. It goes well with chapathi. Hope you like it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mumbai Special Pao

After my success with Classic White bread I picked up some courage to make Mumbai Pao. Let me tell you my first attempt was better as the only missing thing was salt! The second attempt was with just 1 cup of flour and the pao turned out a little hard as I baked it for the same period as for the large quantity. However since I was the one who made it no complaints ;). The third time I try hope it will turn out perfect.

I am sharing this recipe on demand from my readers but remember I'm still tweaking it. It is ofcourse adapted from the Classic White bread


1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115F)
1 tbsp active dry yeast (.25 oz)
1 tbsp sugar
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp butter softened

These are the perfected proportion as on 17th Feb 07

Mix 1 cup water and sugar then sprinkle yeast over it. Leave it to stand for 10 mins till the mix is frothy.

Measure out the flour in a big bowl. Don't forget the salt. Mix in the frothy yeast mixture in the flour with a wooden spoon. Then mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of water and mix till it form a ball and leaves the sides of the bowl. Now add the soft butter and oil and knead till you get smooth dough.

Sprinkle some dough on a counter and then knead the dough on it for 2 mins. Make a smooth ball and store it in a greased bowl untill doubled or min 1.5 hr. Keep it covered with a wet kitchen towel. The towel should be dipped in water and wringed a bit to removed excess water.

Grease a baking tray of 8X10 inches and keep ready. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on the counter and divide the dough into 9 equal parts. Shape them into balls and line them up in the tray like shown in the picture. Leave the tray covered with wet cloth again to double up or for atleast an hour. Once risen brush the pao with molten butter or whole milk to get the glaze.

Now preheat oven at 190 deg cel for 10 min. Then push in the tray laden with pao into the oven and bake for 25 mins or till you see a slight glaze on the pao as in the picture. Once you get the glaze it indicates the pao is well cooked from inside.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on a grill or in a bread basket. Don't leave it in the tray else the pao will sweat.

This pao is so ubiquitous in Mumbai that it has several combos like:

  1. Vada pao
  2. Maska Pao with tea
  3. Pao bhaaji
  4. Misal pao
  5. Masala pao
  6. Samosa pao
  7. Fiery Sunday mutton/ chicken curry (especially in Colaba koliwada)
  8. Chutney Pao like chutney sandwich
  9. Homemade burger when burger buns were still not available in India.
  10. Stuffed and fried Masala pao.
  11. Farsan pao to have with tea (quite far fetched)

Well I think thats enough!

Mumbai and Pao are synonymous. Some gyan on Pao. It is the humble bread made in Mumbai its name originates from the Portugese word for bread Pao. It has a very distinct taste and it does not taste the same anywhere outside Mumbai. In Mumbai it is called just Pao but outside Mumbai it is called Mumbai Pao so I added the special to the title of the post. The Christian People from Goa, the neighbors to the state of Maharashtra eat a lot of Pao hence their nick name paowale. They were only consumers I guess but the real poawala were the Iranis in Mumbai. In old Mumbai bakeries were mostly owned by Iranis and Parsees. In most Mumbai households it was a Dad's job in the morning to get a bottle of milk and maska pao for the family as well as keep a stock of 1 ladi at home to feed anyone hungry in a jiffy. Now you will say what is ladi? It is a set of six pao stuck together on baking like you see in the picture above but here my ladi is of 9 paos. Pao is almost indespensible to Mumbaikars. As a kid I always prefered pao to chapati and that I went to a convent school labeled me as a paowali at home. To add to it my neighbourhood Irani baker in 1st koli lane, Colaba showered so much love on me that if any home deliveries were needed they just had to be told to deliver to my home. I am still teased about it. I wonder why it took me soooo long to try making pao at home.
See the cross section of the pao it is so fluffy!
Updated: Also read
Today 8th Sep 2013,

I made the pao with 1 cup atta + 3 cups Maida. It had even crumb and was flavourful. Will try 50-50 next time.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pepper Idli

On TV there was a special show about Idli House, Matunga, Mumbai sometime back don't remember which channel hosted it. They specialize in all types of idlis. One that struck me is this pepper idli. I love pepper and have come to appreciate its medicinal value in Kanadiga cuisine. It is a spice that cures all ailments caused by the dynamic weather conditions is Blr. On this particular day the idlis came out real soft and was tempted to take a picture. It was in my drafts then I saw Shilpa's post on kanchipuram idli. I decided not to post it. Then Again I rethought it is a good idea to post it as a Remakes in the new category that I started yesterday.

What I did:

I used an equal proportion of urad dal and rice rava/ idli rava. Soaked it together for 6 hrs and ground it later to a paste. Kept it aside to ferment overnight.

Before steaming in the morning greased the idli stand and put one pepper corn and a big pinch of crushed pepper in each mould. Then filled the batter and added one pepper corn and again a pinch of crushed pepper on the top. So that it gives a complete taste of pepper.

Tip: Fresh crushed Pepper has much more flavor than stale ground powder.

Also sharing here a pix I took of pepper being dried at Guruvanam, Kerala during my last visit. See the various shades of pepper, fresh green, half dried almost black and some black.

Do try it before the winter passes by....

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Give Your Verdict Readers!

The TV show opens with the podgy anchor introducing a girl saying she is born and brought up here in Vasave ie Versova even her name begins with an A (what a co-incidence I must say)! Then he says she is going to show us around and we are going to see people cooking some recipes. Then he says she is going to show us a recipe. A says actually it is a preparation for a recipe (how fake)! The anchor over enthusiastically says and what is it called? Bambooke Bombil. I went red in the face at that and felt gosh this is something. The the camera shows the drying area and Valandi. Then A takes the camera around the village and shows the Oti that she calls Otla as it is in Vesave. As my Indian readers might be aware that dialects change even with a few kilometers in India. Then the anchor says the koli kitchen is always outdoor never in the home showing a modern kitchen opposite to the house (he din't get the real thing). The camera shows some haldi ceremony and food. He goes for a wedding with the camera and he gets what he deserves! The food at the wedding turned out to be Gujurathi veg food. It is a trend now among Kolis to serve veg food at the wedding as they don't get help for cooking from the village women now a days. So it is ordered with a caterer who has no clue about Koli food! Serves the The Foodie Times Now team right! The Two women guest on the show shared some recipes which are not at all authentic. A stuff pomfret which only modern koli has learnt from the Parsees and a Tiger prawn curry with tomatoes. Ask any Koli to certify it. At the end of the show He sits at a table eating limp Tandalachi bhakri and the unauthetic food made by his guests licking his fingers enjoying with ignorance that it was authetic Koli food. Hurray to those Maushis! After all they run their own businesses and know how to deal with such people. I waited patiently for the show till the end and went through the credits to see none!
My sitemeter gives me lot of details that I cross verify and know exactly from where my visitors are and what they have read on this blog. What my readers don't know about me is that I am a software professional. I have tools for further digging into visit information details. So beware!
People pl. give your verdict. I will appreciate your comments here. If any of you have actually watched the show your comments are invaluable for me.
Read my previous post if you have no clue about what I am talking here.

Pharali Misal

I am starting a new series of recipes I try out from other blogs. This category is called Remakes. It is my way of saying thank you to all the bloggers who share so generously in this virtual world.

This is my way of teaching the copycats a thing or two about copyright!

My first in this category is Shilpa's Pharali Misal. I made it today for a grand old couple who are visiting me from Mumbai. It turned out superb and no we are not fasting today but was craving for it so just went ahead and made it.

My take on the recipe:

I made the peanut curry with ground peanuts. I shall share the recipe in a separate post.


1. Serve the 3 items separately in bowls and mix little amount while eating to get the right crunch if you really like crunchy stuff else it gets soggy really quick.

2. The Haldiram packet is packed differently in India see the picture below though it is the same Pancharatna Mix. It tastes yummy on its own too. A brand called Garden also sell Farali Chivda but it does not have too many dry fruits so I liked Haldirams more ofcourse at a higher price.

I wanted to serve Sugarcane juice with the misal so spent much effort cleaning it and cutting it up. Leasson learnt: never use a juicer for sugarcane juice extraction. You will get a slurry of sugar cane even through fine mesh. It has to be pressed. So leave it to be enjoyed at the Gurhal in Maharashtran. I will never try to make a healthy sugarcane juice at home that is anywhere my job makes me go.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Typical Work Day (Thal Part IV)

I am doing this for my Friends, readers, co-bloggers who visit this blog out of their love for it.

Copycats you too are welcome here!

Its early morning and time to collect coconuts to sell in the bazaar. Tender coconuts too are collected for the visitors. My cuz S a complete Mumbai bred yet loves to try his hand at all the activities in Thal.

Be careful when selecting and take care of yourself tell the uncles from down below.

Krishna and his father mending the nets while its a day off from fishing.

Its bussiness on the mobile....nah its just cuz S calling Mumbai...yet its a common sight to see the business heads/ Nakhava yelling into their cell phones to get the latest rates from the agents or enquiring about the weather conditions.

Nirmal cutting up some fish for the day's meal before she goes to the market in a different village to sell the catch her brother has got.

Nirmal and Surekha get the baskets packed. Layers of ice and fish to keep fresh.
Aaji comes to help too.

The men taking the boat to sea. This is the small boats parking area. If you look carefully you can see the twin island forts of Khanderi on the left and Undheri on the right on the horizon.

The kids want a ride.

On Trail