Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mocha Island In Banana Cream Sea

That is what I named this dessert.

Hey but did you know that Mocha was a port famed for it's coffee market on the Red sea coast of Yemen. In my recipe it is an island though! The Mocha beans had a coffee and chocolaty flavor no wonder everything with those flavors is called Mocha though it may not have the Mocha coffee bean.

I think most coffee lovers start off on Mocha or Latte and then move on to may be Espresso and then Irish coffee and I want to taste Melya. Oh well but let me stop here else this might turn into a port on coffee....err post I mean.

Well I chose the coffee flavor for this cake to bring in the New year with a freshness. A promise to live a happy life. Bulldoze all those hurdles that seem to challenge once in a while.

So don't just sit and read go whip up the dessert right away!

You will need:

For the Mocha Island

1.5 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons fine semolina
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup ghee
3/4 cup powder sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon raspberry essence
1/2 cup Decoction of Arabicaah
3 teaspoons instant coffee (Stay warned the taste will differ distinctly)

In a large bowl beat together ghee and sugar till light. Sift together all the dry items to make the flour airy. Now fold in this flour into the fluffy ghee n sugar. Now slowly add the milk and raspberry essence to thin out the batter. Last of all add the decoction and mix gently. The batter should fall in folds. Now dust the raisin with little flour and add them into the batter. Mix to distribute them.

Preheat oven for 10 mins at 180 deg celcius . I use electrical one.

Now while the oven gets warm. Prepare the tray. Coat the cake tray with butter and dust with flour. Just invert the tray and tap on the bottom to remove excess flour.

Pour the batter into it and spread with a spatula and level it to avoid a dome.

Bake for 20 mins at 180 degrees celcius till knife inserted comes out clean.

Let it cool completely. Cut up into squares of the size you like and that fits in the bowl you will use to serve.

This is a crumbly cake with the divine smell of ghee liberally used in it and the freshest of flavors.

For the Banana Cream Sea (for each bowl)

1 banana
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon sugar

Whip together in the mixie to smoothness.

Putting together the final bowl

In a bowl spoon in the banana cream. With a light hand place the Mocha square afloat in the centre. Sprinkle some crushed nuts on it. I used walnuts.

I bet this is a light dessert compared to the rich creamy cakes that are in season. I love to use fruit suaces and puree with my cakes.

Enjoy the dessert! Wipe that drool off will you ;)

Note: The Banana Cream Sea should always be fresh. It gets oxidized if stored. Make it just before serving.

And before we say goodbye to the very exciting year that was 2008 am sharing here with you my favoritest jingle till date no not the jingle that reminds you of Santa.

Lovely lyrics and lovely picturization but could not find the Indian version. It was such a captivating ad.

That is my message to you... Open Up~ Open UP~~~welcome the unknown promises of the new with open arms.

Happy New Year !!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Visit Number: 100,000

I started using Sitemeter from 11/15/2006 almost a month after 10/09/2006 when I posted for the first time. It took me 2 yrs 2 month and 7 days to reach Visit Number : 100,000 !!

It is your love for this crazy woman that keeps it going. No pretensions just simple emotions that I go through and share with you all. This woman just pours her heart out here on the blog and you guys love to actually read it? Sometimes I am not so kind to people and you tolerate it. Sorry guys I am not known to take things easy.

I have received enormous amount of love from different parts of the world. I am amused by this special person who remains anonymous. I would like to think there are 2 of them (love multiplied with blessings is a big WOW!). I think I know who it is ;) !! You make my day!!

I have a special connection with NC, USA P will agree so is it mere coincidence that my Visit Number: 100,000 is from NC what does your astrology say W? I would like to know who it was from NC to hit that magic number.

A Big Hug to you :D my Visitor Number: 100,000

The love from my Koli people is invaluable to me. I just wish all my sisters also get to read all of my posts and more often. This year the blog promises to offer an orientation to the new member/s coming into the family.

Keep visiting all you readers. I need your love, support and blessings just like you have been doing this far.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gondavalekar Maharaj Punyatithi at Blr

This picture was taken at the 12.00 noon aarti in the Blr mandir yesterday. While the Punyathithi was celebrated in Maharashtra yesterday here in Karnataka it is celebrated today. Just attended the Gulal ceremony and am off to work. Will go to the temple in the evening again.

Darshan at 7.30 pm today

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mess free Baigan Bharta

I love the smoky taste of Baigan bharta but at times you are just not in the mood to do all the roasting, peeling the charred skin and then cleaning the mess. Thats when this easy way makes it so cook friendly.

I had made it a while ago for my lunch box. You know by now about my Telugu neighbor Durga Rani yeah the same one who served us treats when we came back tired from college. She would make a baigan chutney by simply frying the baigans and grinding with green chilies and cilantro. This dish is inspired by that chutney but made like a bharta with raw onions in it along with a few other things.

Also the best thing is this bharta is made with any sized baigans/ eggplants. You don't have to go in search of a big royal purple eggplant.

So here you go.


250 gms chopped eggplants/ baigan/ vangi
1 large onion shredded fine.
2 tomatoes chopped fine
2-3 green chilies chopped fine.
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
some chopped cilantro for garnish
salt to taste

Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add the asafoetida. Fry the the chopped eggplants. Cover and cook till soft.

Now in a chutney grinder make a paste of the cooked and seasoned baigans. Remove to a big bowl and mix in the chopped raw onions, tomatoes, green chilies and salt. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

It goes well with tandoori rotis and phulkas. Sometimes I use this bharta as a dip with papads and crackers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

When I Went Home...& Papad Rolls

Papad rolls with Maggi hot and sweet sauce.

I still feel disoriented after a week in Blr. The 16 days in Mumbai went very slowly unlike my usual trips.

The first 2 days I went shopping at the new Inorbit Mall along with Sangita. Then it was time to visit my sisters and brothers. A couple of days at Gondavale enroute pulled over at Joshi Vadewale for a bite. We had misal pav but I did not get Kharvas this time.

Bonding time with bros and sisters. Pulled over at Joshi Vadewale @ Pune


Dad met his German friend, Heinz Gerstner after 4 yrs in Gondavale. Laxmi my bai who thinks it is time for her to go on holidays when I am in Mumbai!! Thank god atleast she fed me with Chavlachi Roti for a few days.

Lonavala Valley shot from the expressway

Then finally went to see MJ Kaka and Aruna Kaki. She made these Papad rolls for evening tea. Kaki works so hard at home and takes such good care of Uncle in his condition with the stroke yet she never misses a chance to pamper us. I just pray that my Uncle gets better. I know life will not be normal but atleast he becomes independent. It's been 2 long years. M J kaka and me are going to go together on a trek to the Himalayas. He promised me.


10 papads for the cover

For the stuffing

4 boiled potatoes
1/2 cup paneer crushed
5-6 green chilies fine chopped
salt to taste

Oil to fry

Mash the bolied potatoes and paneer together. Mix the salt and chopped green chilies. Divide into 10 parts. Save

Lightly apply water on the papad on both sides. Place one ball of stuffing on the papad. Make a packet. Deep fry in hot oil. Drain on a paper napkin. Though the roll is deep fried it is not so oily as just the papad requires frying. Similarly make all the rolls and fry. Serve hot with your favorite sauce.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Wednesday

Watch this movie. I am not a movie buff but when I recommend you must. Go get a DVD now.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Me Mumbaikar

I was in Mumbai when the terror attacks happened. I was with my near and dear ones in my suburban home. On that night I had dinner at Sangita's and was catching up on all the gossip when one of her social worker friend called and asked us to watch the news. We were shocked!!

My Colaba was under attack. My Palva bunder (Gateway of India) where I went for evening walks when I was little was battle ground. It was unbelievable to see a safe area like Colaba market turn to a hideout. My relatives and friends were holed up at home for 3 days. Even after the Operation Cyclone we did not venture out to go see them. We are too shaken.

As Mumbaikars we all got back to normal life but we now look at everyone with suspicion and that is going to stay for a long time. We will be more alert.

Many of my Blr friends called to check on me and family. Thank you dear friends for your concern.

I did not feel like posting anything from Mumbai, some feelings are too personal. Couple of people showed their concern on this blog so this post.

Yesterday I walked through the same CST station where the bloodshed was carried out and past the parcel office where the bomb was found after a week of planting. Don't expect me to express my feelings here. I am going to hold those negative feelings inside and transform them to be a better citizen and an active assertive one. I am now back in Blr.

Mumbai was attacked, terror attacks can happen anywhere be alert and inform authorities if you find anything suspicious.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Taher & Gucchi Olu

After drooling at Anita's post and it being a weekend was I going to stop at just that!

Taher & Gucchi Olu for me and Tava Gobhi for Dad.
I did not touch the Gobi but he did taste from my bowl.

Anita I went all out and did exactly the sausage thing.
I am hooked lady.

Take a closer look. The baby potatoes and mushrooms is an enticing combo with the Kashmiri spicing.
Yum! sounds childish is there an adult word for that expression?

I used Milky Mushrooms for the Gucchi Olu

I was smitten by the pictures in that post. Yesterday I started cooking at 12.00 noon and was done at 12.30 with this absolutely fragrant, spicy and out of the world experience of true Kashmiri Cuisine.

I had bought the Milky mushrooms for a french style stir fry as per plan on Friday. Good I used them in this way.

The things that I did differently purely because of the unavailability of the ingredients and as this is a veg version:

1. Milky mushrooms to substitute. These are not Kashmiri Gucchi or Morel mushrooms but I guess Gucchi is a generic term for mushrooms.

2. I used baby potatoes as that is what I had. I was out of stock of the regular ones. I am on an use up-clean up before I go home to Mumbai. The baby potatoes and mushrooms were so tender that I think it made the dish very Non vegetarian yet vegetarian! Must make it for P Bhauji a diehard NV!

3. I used fresh ginger garlic paste as I did not have sonth/ ginger powder. I had made the ginger garlic paste for Dad's Tava Gobhi.

The things that I did exactly as adviced

1. I was no chicken I did use smoking mustard oil for the tempering. It gives the necessary dimension of flavor and fragrance to the otherwise simple yellow rice. The heating of the mustard oil to smoking point makes it a little milder is smell.

2. I mixed the Gucchi Olu well with rice and made sausages to pop in. The mixing itself sends those wonderful signals of anticipatory bliss to the brain.

Go over to Anita's and check out the amazing post if you haven't yet with the Kashmiri traditions elaborately digitized.

Taher and Gucchi Olu is a classy combo. Looks simple, easy to make yet will engrave the tastes of Kashmir on your mind forever. I am simply overwhelmed by this meal and am not hiding it!

God Bless Anita for sharing her traditions and recipes with the world :) !

Updated: 6th Sep 2013
I have made this recipe many times when I craved for it and each time I go back to Anita's for the recipe. So today after enjoying a completely religious experience I am finally noting down the adaptation of the recipe for me and for my other vegetarian friends.

For Gucchi Olu

1 pack of Gucchi/ mushrooms Morel or button, chopped
6 baby potatoes/ Olu, deskinned
2 cloves
1 tejpatta/ Indian bay leaf
4 cloves of garlic pounded
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger powder
2 teaspoon fennel powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoon mustard oil
salt to taste

In a kadhai, heat the mustard oil to smoking point. Add the tej patta and cloves to it. Once its fragrant add the pounded garlic and fry till golden. Now let in the baby potatoes. Mix well to coat with oil. Cover and cook for 5 mins. Then add the chopped mushrooms.

Now in a cup put all the powders together, chili, turmeric, ginger, fennel, garam masala and salt. Make a paste with water. Pour it over the Gucchi and Olu. Cover and cook till potato is completely done.

This is a dry dish with just a coat of masala on the Gucchi Olu.

For Taher

1 cup rice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon mustard oil

Pressure cook rice with 1.5 cup of water, turmeric powder and salt.

Cool and fluff up the rice.

Heat Mustard oil till smoking point and drizzle over the yellow rice.


And this time round I got the perfect Pindi Chole! Check out the picture I've added at the end of the post.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Aloo Paratha

A platter of Aloo Paratha with curd, tamarind chutney and coconut chutney

Paratha for up north may be a breakfast to start the day with but for me and my cousins was a treat when we were kids. Uncle M was the north frequenter in his younger days as a trekker so he got the taste of it first. I loved to listen to his stories about trekking in the Himalayas and the Aloo Parathas straight from the hot girdle and on the plate. He then took us to fancy restaraunt's like Kandeel and Copper Chimney to get a taste of Aloo Paratha. I was very young that time but loved the gastronomic delites I was introduced to.

The my mother started making them for the entire family. She made it only for dinner I remember. May be because my Dad would be at home too. Also if she had to make them for breakfast or lunch she would not be able to get help in making them. It was always a daunting task for her to make Aloo Parathas for the entire family. We were 10 people then as part of my family, 8 of them were in Thal. So it would start with boiling the potatoes in our big 10 liter cooker. Then everyone sitting around the cooling potatoes to peel them. Yes if we wanted treats we better help was my Mom's rule. She did not have domestic help many times and she did every single chore herself. Waking up at 5.00 am to make packed lunch for my uncles, breakfast for all, sometimes she would drop me off to school too. Buying vegetables was always her duty. My elder bro V helped at times with the groceries. I refused to do any work as I pretended to study. Yes but if I wanted Aloo Parathas I better help. So I would join the gang.

Then was the garlic peeling that I hated and the unwritten rule was that V bhau was supposed to do it anyways. Once the garlic was skinned. Mom would bring the mortar and pestle and bang it in front of me saying, "Will you do this now?" I would sit and mash the garlic, ginger and green chilies as my Mom scolded again, "Put a gonpat/gunny bag under it! The downstairs neighbor will come running up to see what is going on!" Even as a child I was a solution provider. I told Mom to use the chutney grinder but she would refuse. It would not taste the same she'd say.

Then V Bhau would expertly knead the dough. See my Mom trained him well M Vahini. He was an expert at making spotless chapatis too but Paratha needs a woman's hand my Mom would say.

Once that was done she would make few baskets of dough stuff them and deftly roll and spin the parathas on the polipaat/ chapati rolling board. V bhau would then do the roasting by my mother's side. I want to roast too. "Shoo go away, you will tear the parathas". Uncle M would smile, "Vahini it smells divine" appreciating her efforts. She would have to make a whole pile for the 10 people. I think she used 2 kgs of dough at a time. We had 6 men in the family at the time and only one lady in Mumbai to take care of them. Yours truly was then still a girl naa.

"Aai Naivedhya kaadh naa, bhuk lagli" would be the next thing :)! I would insist after the first paratha was made to offer it to God so that I could feast on it. I'd sit at the window with my plate in my lap and sauce bottle handy. Who had the patience to wait for the raita to be made!


The Dough

1.5 cups Whole wheat flour
2 tablespoon curd

Knead together all the item into a smooth dough. Let it stand till you prepare the stuffing. The curd makes the dough slightly tangy and flaky after roasting the paratha.

The stuffing

6 medium boiled potatoes
3 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
2 green chilies
1/2 teapsoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon dry mango/ amchur powder
handful chopped cilantro
salt taste
ghee for roasting

Peel the potatoes. Mash the garlic, ginger and chilies in a mortar and pestle.

Now in a big bowl. Mash the potatoes, the masala, garam masala, amchur powder, cilantro and salt. Knead together. Shape balls of 2 inch size.

The Rolling out

Now pinch of another 2 inch sized dough. Roll out into a small disc. Place the Potato stuffing on it and gather together the ends. Shape it round and pat it a bit. Roll out into a big round like you do for chapati but smaller. Parathas should be little thicker than chapati. They taste better when slightly plump. Roast them by applying ghee on both sides.

Serve hot with curd and an assortment of chutneys.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Vada Bhaat and Kadhi

Justify FullIn my Thali: Clockwise -
Roasted udid papad, Godima Halwa (Sent by Vidya Shenoy Aunty) , Chakli sent by Chorghade Kaku, Dal Vada, Vada Bhaat and Kadhi

I was in the 8th standard when I got my first recipe book as a gift . It had the recipe of Nagpuri Vada bhaat. Now in Mumbai some of these things are not available even on Marathi restaraunt menus. So all these years I had just heard all my Marathi friends from Vidarbha region rave about it until last year.

We were invited for the Udyapan or the closing ceremony of Mahalaxmi vrat by my friends Shaliesh & Manisha. Shaila Kaku was also here in Blr so the Udyapan was a full fledged perfectly done celebration complete with homa, havan and naivedhya of 5 sweets!

The menu was elaborate and I don't remember all of it now but I remember my encounter with Vada Bhaat and Kadhi. So finally after so many years of not knowing what exactly it was I got to taste it from the hands of a sugran. More than the taste I like the attention given to the person served. It is an example of the Indian Hospitality and Agraha at its best.

While I am going to give the recipe below I must elaborate on the true Agraha that makes Vada bhaat and Kadhi stand out as a recipe that Vidarbha people talk about so much. This combo is always part of an elaborate meal. Yet this is not something that you can prepare before hand and serve. It requires the involvement of the host all the time.

When serving first you serve a pile of rice. Then the vada on the side. Mostly the vada is Dal vada or sometimes pakodas. Then you tell your guest to crush the vada on the rice. Meanwhile you go fetch the Kadhi that is boiling on sim on the gas to accompany the Vada bhaat. Next you make a second trip to the kitchen to pick up the final touch the hot oil and asafoetida water. The hot oil is a dressing that is addded in spoonfuls on the rice. This oil is the leftover oil after frying the vadas. So as you balance the hot oil held in a steel vati/ bowl with tongs you are holding the asafoetida water in another vati with a tiny spoon in it. You go and stand in front up the guest and warn the person to keep out the hand while you serve and dress up the rice and crushed vadas with the oil and drizzle a bit of asafoetida water over it. Then you lovingly watch over the person as the mixing goes on almost in a meditative fashion. You then tell them to add little bit of kadhi to the mixed rice and put the morsel in the mouth!

Humm after making the guest do so much of salivating and you doing the pampering it ought to taste good!

Well there are easier ways of doing it as I have done couple of times after that when I made it at home. I just crushed the vada and mixed oil and asafoetida into the rice before hand and served with piping hot kadhi. Simple. It still tasted the same but we like to fuss over our guests don't we!

That's why I said the core of Vada bhaat and Kadhi is the tradition of serving with agraha. Agraha is marathi for coaxing.


The 5 steps

1. Recipe for Dal Vadas
2. Recipe for Kadhi
3. Cook the rice
4. The asafoetida water
5. Serving the Vada Bhaat: described above

1. You can make the dal vadas before hand and keep it saves a lot of time and this dish asks for cold vadas rather than hot ones that can be crumbled. This time I used moog dal as it soaks faster though it does not give the crumble like Chana dal vadas but it did not matter much.

2. Kadhi

1 cup curds
1 tablespoon chickpea flour/ besan
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
7-8 curry leaves
1 inch piece of cinnamon
4 cloves
salt to taste

Heat oil is a pot. Crackle the mustard seeds, fry the cinnamon and cloves. Add the curry leaves. The cloves and cinnamon make it spicy so I avoid green chilies but incase you are able to handle more heat use slit green chilies while seasoning. Add a bit of water and cover to retain the volatiles.

In a bowl blend the curd and chickpea flour to a smooth paste. Add it to the above pot. Boil on sim for 10 mins to cook. Increase water to desired consistency and boil for another 5 mins.

Taste a bit to ensure the raw taste of chickpea flour is removed. Put off the heat.

3. Now cook rice with a little less water so that the rice is fluffly like we make for pulaos and biryanis. Keep aside

4. The asafoetida water is made by dissolving 1 teaspoon of asafoetida in 1 tablespoon of water. Save

Follow as described above to serve Vada bhaat with Kadhi.

Phurki~ marun kha ! Slurp it up !

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Steamed Rava Ladu?!!

You got fooled? No not just 2 gaint ladus..... See below

Anyone heard of those? I had not till Vinaya sent me this mail for Diwali.
"My MIL taught me very simple and absolutely delicious ladoo yesterday- quite foolproof for ppl like me. Just dunked roasted rava, khava/pedha and grated coconut in a big tightly closed steel dabba. Proportions not hard and fast. Steamed this it for 20 mins without the whistle in a pressure cooker. When steamed added powdered sugar as per taste. Bas - vaLayla tayar - even i can make it. Added some dry fruits before steaming. really yummmyyyy :). She is am amazing cook - hope to learn a few things from her :)"
She was just in time. On the Friday before Diwali I went to the store at work and bought sweets and savouries all from Haldiram determined not to spend my time on the weekend making treats as I always do in Diwali season. Came home dumped it on the kitchen counter. Seeing I was tired after the hectic week Dad went and put all the packets away. It was quite a lot for the two of us and for visitors.

My plan of a relaxed Diwali was almost succeeding then just that night my SIL called up to check on my preparations for the upcoming festivities. I heard Dad complain, "She has not made anything !!"

Uh! I said and grabbed the phone from him trying to tell my SIL that he has just put away all the Haldiram stuff. I am determined not to slog this Diwali. That done I thought I'd sleep well that night but I couldn't. Dad knows what pushes me. He has always done this all the time and even though I know his tactics I still want to please him just like I did as a kid.

So the weekend was spent making 2 types of ladus and a Chivda on Sunday and Karanji (with a khava and semolina stuffing) and sweet Shakarpali on Monday, we had off at work here. I had aching hands with all the roasting, kneading etc but as a result a happy Dad!

Vinaya your MIL's recipe is a real breeze. Thanks to her and hugs n kisses to you for sending it to me just when I need it and isn't Diwali always about showcasing your skills as a Sugran?

Well though your mail said there are no proportions. I am enumerating here what I did.


2 cups semolina/ rava
1 cup grated fresh coconut
1 cup khava/ khoya
2 tablespoons khus-khus
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 cups powder sugar

Dry roasted semolina in a wok. Without any fat! Yes you are reading right these ladoos are fat free !! OK free from added fat.

Removed the wok from heat. Then added the grated coconut, khava. Toasted khus khus and sesame seeds a bit and added to the wok. Then mixed well with hand. The mixture felt moist but not wet. Later divided the mixture into two portions and filled in two steel lunch boxes and closed the boxes tightly.

In the small pressure cooker put two glasses of water and steamed the mix in the dabbas for 20 mins without whistle nor gasket.

After 20 mins. Put off heat and let it cool completely. When I opened the boxes the mixture felt nice and fluffy and was still warm. To this I now added the powder sugar. Mixed well with hand. It felt dryish to be rolled into ladus but to my surprise they held shape really well. I did not use any nuts as I had used in other ladu.

I was in doubt if they had good shelf life and they needed to last me through Diwali I wondered. The good news is they stayed good for 10 days till the last one was devoured. So I guess we can say these can last safely for 15 days without refrigeration.

They taste like the rava ladus made with sugar syrup which is supposed to be the right way of making ladus until women became lazy and made rava ladus with powder sugar and loads of ghee to bind them. That makes it a winner recipe!

P.S: Vinaya you will be happy to know I sent it for Gulabi and W had it too.

Updated: 15th Nov 08

This post is going over to Mansi's for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving! and a Vegetarian I am !!!

Thanks for hosting Mansi! I like the idea of an ongoing event it gives the opportunity for people to use the recipes in season.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hirva Masala Moog Dal

I did not have a vatga so I used a bone china bowl to serve

No that is not what it is called in Koli cuisine. However here on the blog the other authentic Koli Tikhat Moog Dal is one of the most searched so to differentiate it the nomenclature. We use the ground green masala for this dal hence Hirva masala Moog dal it is from now on! Else is just called Moogachi Dal.

As you might have read on this blog how crazy my Koli's are about the fish curries and fries and how dal is made only on fasting days. This Dal however is found in all homes with babies younger than 2yrs. Most times you will find either a mother or grandma with a kid on one hip and a pitali (a special shaped quarter plate) or vatga (big steel bowl) in one hand mixing this Moog Dal and rice feeding the wailing baby in front of the homes as the passerby smiles at the baby. There has to be a cubed potato in the dal as it is fed to kids. This is a Koli kid's mum-mum and yum yum comfort food for adults. Today when I made it the satiation on my father's face was amazing. I just served him this dal rice with mango pickle, coconut chutney and roasted udid papad and I could see the bliss. My first morsel made me mutter, "Tastes like Thal." Obviously then you are reading this post.


1 cup deskinned split mung beans/ moog dal
3 tablespoon of grated coconut
2 green chilies
4-5 sprigs of coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic
salt to taste
2 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

Wash and soak the moog dal in water for 1 hr.

In a chutney grinder make a smooth paste of coconut, chilies, coriander, cumin seeds and garlic. Save.

Heat oil in a pot and splutter mustard seeds in it. Transfer the dal into the pot along with the water in which it is soaked. Cube potatoes into pieces like in the picture that is also a must to get the right kind of texture of cook potato in the dal. Let it cook on sim. It took me 30 mins to get fluffy cooked dal.

I had the option of pressure cooking but the texture changes. Pressure cooking gives a pasty tasting dal whereas open cooking lends a nice coarser texture that is required to maintain the autheticity of the dal for this type.

Once cooked add the ground green masala to it and adjust the water to the consistency of your choice. We like it thick but not creamy. Let it boil for another 20 mins on sim.

Put off the heat and remove dal in a bowl. Scoop out small portions of rice into it and pick the potatoes from the dal and place them like shown. That will give you the real thing like in the picture. Mix with your fingers and enjoy in the true Koli tradition.

There is also the Pivli Dal made with Tur Dal but the taste is distinctly different even though the masala is the same.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vathal Sundakai - The Answer Is Out !

I was at the supermarket scouting for papads and preserves as we don't stock many here in Blr unlike Mumbai home. I spotted this packet of round dried berries some of them opened as if they had burst on ripening. I was introduced to these by Durga Rani my ex-neighbor when in college. Since they ate just rice and dal/ curry most times they always had munchies along with the meal. This curious looking sundried and fried berry has a bitter taste but its combo with curd rice is something I loved. The packet said Vathal Sundakai. I was all excited to share the excitement on the blogosphere so I riddled but in vain.

I found an interesting discussion here. Green sundakai looks like tiny green brinjals. I knew only the fried ones go as crispies in Thali meals. It was interesting to know that Sundakai is cooked green too.

Here Vathal is for sundried and Sundakai is Tamil for Turkey Berry. I haven't seen it used in any form green or dried in any other state except the Southern foursome of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.

Wiki says it's application as a rodenticide is known as much as a treatment for various skin diseases in humans.

So you have your answer for

Riddle Me This # 3 ~

The winner is Kamalika !!!

Her answer is the exact one though there were Mamatha and Jayashree who guessed it right partly before her. She said @ November 08, 2008 11:39 PM

It is called " Sundakai Vathal". We can make Vathakulambhu with this and also simply deep fry it and sprinkle some salt on it and have it with Curd rice.

This is an important dish when fasting is broken on Thuvathesi after Vaikunta Ekadesi.

Very good for stomach ailments.

Btw am i right

Now Kamalika you go and fetch some thing strange and show it to us on your blog and you know the rules. Luck~~!

I am as excited to see what's coming up as I was to host this event!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cold Mornings & Pigging Out

It was cold on the weekend morning. I was stiff in bed and refused to budge. Then when I did I was on the net for long. In the last few days have seen my girlfriends going through a lot of ups and downs in life. One is on the verge of a crumbling so called sacred institution another having humps on the great express way of life yet another had to put her pet to deep sleep.

On my front. I have the apple of my eye seeking too much attention ;). Pampering some one too much drains you. Did you know that? If you didn't thank me for telling you so you are warned.

In this new house I am not able to sleep well. The dairy downstairs is noisy till 12 midnight. Then the distribution van comes in at 3.00 am. Between 12.00am and 3.00 am the groaning of the cows gets really loud. Believe me they too are just like humans ;) !

Finally last Saturday I stayed in bed a little more. Then it was time for brunch. Sent off Dad to get us an all out South India brunch. He came back with a pack of Idli & Vada, Set dosa and Chow Chow Bhat! All of which I have made singly on many occasions but take ways are a boon too you can have all of them at one time. The weather and the South Indain snacks are a blessing here in Blr. Didn't I mention before that is why Blr fights with Mumbai to find a place in my lil heart.

Both of us pigged out on it :). It does not happen always and it feels so good to have my turn to be pampered for once but it is Dad who is doing it. Love you Baba!

Centre : Sambar Clockwise: Half Medu Vada, Idli, Kesari bhat & Upma (Chow Chow Bhat), 1.5 Set Soda, Chutney, Potato & Peas sagu

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Riddle Me This # 3 ~

The blogosphere has ruled my life for the past 2 years and a little more now. I wonder at times there is so much food and ingredients that are available to man. Still we work more than the stone-age man for food. You bet one life is not enough for even sampling all of the food available to us. This on-the-roll event is here to expand further the horizons of our choice.

Now with Riddle me this our fun loving Manisha has started a really educative treasure hunt that bloggers get to be part of!

Well some time ago you saw me riddle you with it in a processed avatar here. There were two similar guesses but not quite right so you see another avatar today.

I'm happy to be the third blogger to get the baton. The first winner needs more cajoling. C'mon Pel !

And here is Manisha's Asthapadi (Sanskrit for 8 steps)
  1. Find something stranger than strange and weirder than weird,
  2. Post it on your blog within the next two weeks.
  3. The quiz remains open for at least 1 day and at the most 2 days. I'll make it 2.
  4. The person who guesses it correctly gets the torch and is the next host for Riddle Me This.
  5. If the person who guesses correctly is the previous host, then that person will get to pick someone to pass the buck to from all those who made a guess.
  6. And so on.
  7. Please use the fabulous logo, designed by the real IFR owner:

    and link back to the host who passed the baton on to you. For me it is the real Mad Tea Party owner.
  8. Please do your best to keep this alive. Just think of how much fun it will be! To me it is a treasure hunt and lots of learning.
You have to guess what it is? It may not be known commonly or used ubiquitously. All I can tell is it's a berry and the tell tales are is my links on this post. :S are you! Don't be and have fun !!

I'm loving Riddle me this !! Cheers for the two kewl chicks who have passed this on to me!!!

Tic Toc Tic Toc~~~

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Aadiriyedath Invites

Support For A Fundraiser In Pune For The Trust

I am excited !!

In the last few months there has been a lot happening but since I am in Blr. I was missing the action. Today Jyoti sent me pictures and believe me I am so excited and looking forward to be in Pune soon for the fundraiser. I had promised here at the time of the Inaugurations at Aadiriyedath. So here we are.

We are pleased to announce !

A Fundraiser for Aadiriyedath

Bharat Natya Mandir, Near - Tilak road, Pune

Date & Time :
This show has been postponed until further notice

Language: Marathi

Aapla Jag ~ Our World

This Marathi play is a fantasy about Santa & his toy world.

Duration - 45 minutes

Written by Ankush Ajri

Directed by Jyoti Brahme

Actors: Child artists

Scenes from Shalu


A story of an old & aged artist who cannot forget his golden days as a famous actor who used to play female characters in dramas. This story narrates his journey and the current situation.

Duration - 55 minutes

Original Story by Sha. Na. Navare

Play Written & Directed by Jyoti Brahme


The third item is a surprise and will be announced soon.

I would like to appeal to all bloggers if you could help spread the word and support this show and Aadiriyedath we would be thrilled and obliged!

You can use this badge and post it on your blog and link up here.

Watch out for more updates~

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tondli Batata

A simple stir fry with panch phoran and sesame seeds that's what it is. So it is che phoran now instead of panch as it is 6 seasonings that have gone into it. Yet it finds place here on the blog to give people like cuz Hrushi the courage to make simple bhaajis that are tasty. This bhaaji needs to look good too so slice the ivy gourd lenghtwise and potatoes also should be sliced like chips.


1/4 kg ivy gourd
4 medium potatoes
1 teaspoon panch phoran (mustard, cumin, nigella, fenugreek, fennel seeds mix)
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
2 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
salt to taste

Heat oil. Splutter the panch phoran on high heat. Inhale the divine aroma for a min. Add the 6th phoran of white sesame seeds. Toast them a bit. Then add the Ivy gourd and sliced potatoes. Sprinkle turmeric and red chili powder over it. Add the salt.

Stir and mix. Cook covered until done.

Monday, November 03, 2008

It Rained In My Pindi Chana

Pindi Chana/ Chole, Gobi ki sabzi, Ajwain Ka Paratha,
Jeera Rice and Aam ka Achar

"I'm coming back to Blr tommorow" said Alok. His son Aditya's Mundan was done in Nagpur in the presence of both sets of grandparents. Varsha was going to have an extended time with her parents. Alok was to join us for dinner this Sunday evening.

After Aditya's arrival we have had hardly any meals together. He rules all the plans. Varsha still avoids spicy stuff and is still on bland food. Yesterday was Aditya's birthday. He turned one. It was funny I called up and wished his father!

I had a very boring weekend. I have not traveled since my last trip to the North East. The only time we went out after many months is when Dheer uncle visited us. I need a break now.

So since Alok was going to join us for dinner I made this Punjabi meal rather enthusiastically accompanied by some interesting conversation about the current scenario in IT and an update on Aditya's Mundan ceremony.

Coming back to the title of the post. In our joint family we had this rule that food was to be treated with respect and to be eaten without a word of criticism. So we kids used sarcasm instead. The day the dal or bhaaji was thin we would ask Mom and Aunts, "Did it rain today?" This would irk the ladies of the house but it invariably was followed by peals of laughter of 8 hyperactive children and one Dal khao just loved it watery. Hee hee. Peace.

I remembered this family joke today as I started out to make Pindi Chana using Ashwini's recipe about which I read on Pel's just today. The comments section told me more. Pahle aap, Pehle aap mein bus choot gayi. Both Ashwini and Pel did not send it to my Chole Mela last year! Had I not searched today I would missed this lovely recipe.

I must tell you what happened though. It did rain in my Pindi Chana. How? Why? Because after I bhunoed the masala like Anita does I expected it to tame a bit but it didn't. Thus it rained in my Pindi Chana I would not be able to stomach that much heat. Next time I'm going to reduce the black pepper I know.

Traditionally Pindi Chana is dry mine was a muddy one literally with the black color that I did achieve!! YaY!! So what would you call it Pindi Chana or Chana Masala or plain Chhole?

Yet another thing I did was to avoid the discarding of the whole spices used in the recipe I simply reduced the amount required and bhunoed and ground it to a coarse paste.

Here are the changes I made.


1 cup chickpeas (kabuli chana), soaked overnight
1 teaspoon tea leaves
1 1/2 tbsp pomegranate seeds (anardana) (skipped)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 black cardamoms (badi elaichi)
1 small sticks of cinnamon
2 cloves
1 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp mango powder (amchur)
2 green chillies
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee
salt to taste

my addition inspired by Anita
1 cup fine chopped onions

I first bolied the Chana in the pressure cooker for 40 mins about 5 whistles.

While the pressure cooker was cooling.

I heat the wok. Yes I like to make it in a wok. Heat oil. Fried the onions till brown. Added all the spices and bhunoed till dark brown. Let is cool but while still warm ground to a coarse paste(next time I'll grind it fine).

After opening the cooker just added the fried and ground masala to the chana along with salt and let it boil for good 15 mins. Till on the side of the cooker I could see a ring of starch. Put off the heat. Let it sit till I rolled out the parathas and pressure cooked the Jeera Rice.

How to make Jeera Rice?

Simple. Wash 1 cup rice. Put it in the cooker. Add 1 tablespoon of Ghee. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds. Put 1.5 cups of water. Close the lid of the cooker. Put the weight. Allow just 1 whistle on a sim. Put off the heat. Let it cool completely. Open and give it a mix gently with a spatula.

How to make Ajwain Paratha?

Add 1 teaspoon Carom seeds to your regular Chapati dough. Roll out paratha a little thick OR roll out the size of a puri grease topside fold and then roll it out bigger. I made like the later.

Say Balle Balle with that!!

Alok did you like the meal? You didn't eat much. Varsha will ask you for sure.

Updated : 15th Nov 08

YaY !!! I got the chole right this time

Don't they look divine. I made Chole-Puri for packed lunch during the week can you imagine that!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cholar Dal

Multigrain Vada with onions and Cholar Dal

The spice box and the sticker you see in the picture and some coffee that is being used right now in my kitchen lab are things Mridula got back for me when she returned from her honeymoon in Coorg.

I wanted to make something with all the spices in it so I thought what better option than making Cholar Dal. It turned out quite mild flavored with the use of whole spices but was fragrant.

I served it with Multigrain Vadas and rice.


1 cup Chana Dal soaked for 2 hrs
2 onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
2 Badi Elaichi
2 Choti Elaichi
1 Star anise
8-10 pepper corns
2 inch piece of cinnamon
3-4 cloves
1 green chili
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons oil

Heat Oil. Fry onions till caramelized. Now put in the whole spices and the powders. Add tomatoes and let them cook down to a sauce. Then add the soaked chana dal. Top up with water just to cover the dal and cook covered. Check if dal is cooked by pressing one grain between fingers. If it is cooked adjust the thickness with more water. Boil well for another 5 mins. Put off the heat. The Cholar Dal is ready to serve.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Modachya Moogachi Amti

Sprouted Mung Bean Curry

Moog is a very important bean in Ayurved as all body types can consume it. I love sprouted Moog. There are two or three ways of making Moog curry for an every day Marathi meal. This one is the type made along the Konkan(coastal) strip. This bean does not cause gasification or bloating like other beans. In Ayurved moog porridge is suggested as a detox diet. My Aruna Kaki over did the sprouts diet and has ended with high uric acid level in her blood. So remember any food even the safe ones have to be consumed in a balanced manner and never try fad diets on your own.

This recipe is how Tai used to make it and Ghadi kaka always asked for a spoon to slurp it even when he was eating a Thali meal using his fingers.


2 cup sprouted Moog
2 Onions
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 red chilies
1/2 inch ginger
2 pods garlic
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tomato (optional) or few Kokum pieces
salt to taste
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 big pinch asafoetida

To prepare the masala

Roast the onions on direct flame like shown here.

Cool and peel the burnt skin. Use the roasted onion for masala.

Chop the roasted onion. Put it in a chutney grinder. Add the dessicated coconut, red chilies, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, tomato or Kokum pieces and grind together to a smooth paste.

Meanwhile pressure cook the Moog beans for 2 whistles. They get cooked fast so the usual three whistles are not required. Let it cool before you open.

Once pressure cooker is cooled in a pot heat oil. Add mustard seeds and asafoetida. As they splutter away add the cooked beans. Then transfer the ground masala paste into it. Now top up with water to a consistency of your liking. Boil for 10 mins on medium heat. Remove from heat and let it rest for 10 mins. Flavours turn out best post cooking as they meld in the pot.

Lap up the Modachya Moogachi Amti with hot rice.

We had ours with crunchy Rice papads and sweets on the side.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Almond Banana Chocolate Bread

It's still warm and smells so good.

While I was looking for something quick and fast for breakfast and also wanted to use up the Bananas that were overripe. So on Googling landed on this lovely site.

I made it eggless as usual and with a few changes so am giving the ingredients here in the same order.


1/2 cup almonds coarse
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Cadbury's cocoa powder
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (I skipped it)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Oil
2 ripe bananas sliced
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl mix in all the wet ingredients like oil, milk, vanilla essence, banana slices and sugar. Beat with a spatula till sugar dissolves. To this liquid mix add the dry mix slowly and fold in the flour.

Oil the bread pan and dust it with flour. Tap the pan upside down to remove excess flour.

Bake the loaf for 30 mins or till an inserted needle comes out dry. Cool completely and turn it out into a tray. Slice it carefully and serve with more sliced banana.

I like to have the banana slices in the bite as they taste divine but this bread has to be consumed in 3 days even if refrigerated. If mashed banana is used it gives a dry loaf that has a better shelf life. Decide what you want shelf life or taste and then follow.

The coarse almond powder gives a nice texture to the loaf besides making it light.

This Almond Banana Chocolate bread is something I'm going to bake soon for my nephew Pranav. He mostly will name it ABC Bread. That's him.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

V Slicer Or The Mandoline

I must have bought it in the year 2000 or so. We had gone to the Apna Bazaar near our home and there was this demo going on there. My Dad spotted this V Slicer and he suggested that I must have this in the kitchen as I was cooking a lot those days. It was the time when we had moved into our new home and as you know we are native Mumbaikars and we have all our friends and family in Mumbai itself. They wanted to check out our new home. I remember for almost a year we had family and friends visiting every weekend. I was always having people over for either lunch, dinner or atleast tea which meant endless cooking. I was on a career break at the time. This V slicer or Mandoline saved my life and continues to do so. Whether it is Chinese or Indian the V slicer cuts down the vegetable chopping time to just mins.

This demo is especially for my team mates Rashmi and Sapna here in Blr. These girls are newly weds and budding cooks. Sapna enjoyed cooking before marriage too so she is always on the look out of appliances and tools for the kitchen that will help make life easy. Where as Rashmi is a tomboy turned good wife cooking for hubby dear. Rashmi likes her veggies cut really fine so I definitely think she is going to like this kitchen aide.

The brand I have is Borne'r. Telebrands also sells a V slicer here in India. Go check it out you gals. Else the next time the hubby is onsite ask him to get you this V slicer or Mandoline.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bhurgulyache Ladoo

This is a story Yesu Aaji (my father's mother) would tell us at bedtime when she felt that we were pampered kids bred in the city of Mumbai. The story teaches you to value what you have and be sympathetic towards the less fortunate.

Naarya lived in Thal with his widowed mother. Their home was a hut made from Zaap the coconut leaves woven to form panels and dry hay that was used to thatch the roof. This was a sure sign of their condition. It just had one room with a smoldering chool in one corner. There would be a big black pot of pez (gruel) cooking on it all day long. If on someday Naarya's mother was not able to earn anything that meant no vegetables or fish. Then the pez would fill their stomach all three times a day. Above the chool there hung a shika (choir pot hanger) in which was a basket with a few pieces of stale Chavlachi Roti. At times when Naarya cried for roti his mother dipped the stale and hardened roti in hot water to soften it and would serve to him.

It was the time of Dattachi yatra (Datta jayanti). There was a fair at the temple on the outskirts of Thal. Men and women took their children to the fair. While returning everyone seemed to have conical packs of peda and paper wraps.

Naarya asked one of his friends what it had in the paper wraps. They said with a twinkle, "Bhurgulyache Ladoo"(puffed rice and jaggery balls). Those were the times when even simple things like that meant so much to the kids unlike today's kids who demand for cheese to snack on.

Naarya felt sad that his mother did not have money to send him for the fair. He was dejected and pulled a blanket over his head and cuddled in one corner of the hut. His mother came home from the bunder(fish drying fields) and found him sobbing. The mother ran to him instantly and asked him what was wrong. He refused to tell. He was a mature child and knew that his mother would not be able to provide what he wanted. Finally he told his mother how he wanted to taste Bhurgulyache Ladoo.

His mother went to the chool and put her hand in the dark konada ( a cove in the wall) which was her safety locker and found just one bronze coin with a hole.

She told Naarya to go to Tambat the grocer and do as instructed. Naarya went to Tambat and told him that his mother wanted to make Bhurgulyache Ladoo so he wanted Bhurgule and Jaggery. Tambat was a cunning man. He asked Naarya how much money he had. Naarya told him he wanted just as much amount of Bhurgule and jaggery that fitted in his ears. Tambat thought that's all. He took the coin with the hole and asked Naarya to go to the back and fill his ears with Bhurgule and to his suprise it did not fill with 1 pav sher so he shoved in another pav sher. Then he filled the other ear with jaggery half sher again! As he waved a goodbye to Tambat and thanked him he skipped with happiness towards his hut. His mother was waiting for him.

She carefully removed the Bhurgule and jaggery from his ears. She had a smile on her face as she was now going to make the ladoos for her son that he so desired.

I meant to share the recipe of Bhurgulyache ladoo but it needs some perfection so till then sharing the picture.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shubh Deepavali

गंध पसरतो फुलातुन...

जुलता मनातून...

दीपावलीच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्या...

सरळ आमच्या ह्रुदयातुन !!

शुभ दीपावली !!

Sweet smell emanates from the flowers...

Relationships are spun in the mind...

But these Joyful Diwali Wishes...

Are straight from my Heart !!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Appi Payasa for Dhanatrayodashi

Appi Payasa: Pooris in Badam milk

Appi Payasa for breakfast is quick and almost like a porridge heart warming to the core. At Mridula's wedding I had tasted this and its so easy that I had to try it atleast once. This recipe will now on give leftover pooris a new lease of creative life for sure. I guess that is how this might have been invented or may be it was meant to be baby food! Aha but you see in the South most things have to pass the gulp test!!! No one wants to chew or bite into anything. Oh yeah but if it is their munchies then the other side of south please go get a mortar and pestle to make the munchies munchable LOL!!!

Also when you are making Diwali treats you end up with extra dough. Never mind what dough it is just fry and dunk in badam milk and you have an all new creation called Appi Payasa! With that tip I'm sending this post for JFI Nov 08 @ cooking4allseasons. Its been long since I participated in any event so making it festive. Thanks Srivalli and is Indira participating?

It is a new sweet in our home and I made it for Dhanatrayodashi today.


4- 6 Pooris/ Indian fried bread
4 cups milk
1 tablespoon semolina
2 pedas (optional)
2 tablespoons almond powder
6 teaspoons sugar
few strands of saffron

In a pot put the milk and keep on medium heat. Once it starts boiling add the sugar, almond powder and saffron. If using pedas crush them over the pot and into it. Add the semolina. Reduce heat and let the semolina cook. After 5 mins you will see the milk has thickened and payasa is ready. Put off the heat. Tear the pooris into small bits and add to the payasa. Stir and cover for 5 mins. Serve hot.

Top up with nuts, raisins or both.

May you have a slurpy Dhanatrayodashi today !!

On Trail