Sunday, December 17, 2006

Makai ki Roti and Sarson ka Saag

Sarson ka saag

3 bunches sarson, chopped
1 bunch spinach, chopped
1 bunch bathua (Amaranthus leaves)
4 onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Salt to taste
2 tsp makai flour
2 tbsp curd
2 tbsp pure ghee
Hing powder - ½ tsp.
1. Remove stems of greens and wash them thoroughly.
2. Chop sarson, spinach and bathua finely and pressure-cook them for about half-an-hour. When cool, grind coarsely alongwith green chillies.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Add onion and sauté till golden brown.
4. Add garlic, ginger and stir-fry for two minutes.
5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till tender.
6. Add coarsely ground sarson paste, salt and cook for 15-20 minutes.
8. Add makai flour diluted in two tbsp curd. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
9. Serve with tempering of ghee and hing powder.

Makai ki roti

2 1/2 cup maize flour

1. Prepare a dough by adding water gradually.
2. Shape rotis between plastic sheets.
3. Cook on hot, well-greased griddle on slow flame.
4. Add a little ghee on both sides while cooking. Smear ghee on top and serve hot.
Tip : Chopped methi leaves or grated radish can be added while making the dough.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mixed Vegetable Pakoda


Palak - 13-14 leaves
Methi leaves - few
Cauliflower- 8-10 small florets
Onion - 2
Potato - 2
Tomato -1
Gram flour (besan) 250 gms
Green chillies 2
Ginger 1 inch piece
Ajwain - ½ tea spoon
Red chilli powder - ½ tea spoon
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Method :
1. Wash palak and methi leaves, drain water and chop coarsely.
2. Cut onion, potato and tomato into fine pieces.
3. Take out small florets of cauliflower and wash.
4. Chop green chillies and grate ginger.
5. Gradually add gram flour to the vegetables till the batter is of semi-solid consistency.
6. Add ajwain and salt.
7. Add water if required since the besan can be mixed in the juice of vegetables itself.
8. Heat the oil, take the batter and drop in small portions into the oil.
9. Cook on medium fire till the pakodas are of light brown colour.
10. Mixed vegetable pakodas are delicious and can be eaten plain or with tomato sauce.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Badam Halwa

Badam : 50 nos
Sugar : 2 heaped tbsp.
Pure Ghee : 2 tbsp.
Milk - ¼ tea cup
Method :
  1. Soak Badams for 6-7 hours. Then remove the outer skin.
  2. Grind the badams into a smooth paste using just enough water (chatni like consistency).
  3. Heat ghee in a kadai, add the badam paste and mix it well.
  4. Keep on stirring on low flame till it becomes dry and nice smell starts coming.
  5. Add milk and sugar and keep on stirring till it leaves the sides of the kadai.
  6. Relish the hot badam halwa.
Tip : If you feel that the paste is sticking with pan, add more ghee. Badam halwa is too tasty in itself that there is no need of adding cardamom, saffron or any other dry fruit. With a glass of milk it makes a very healthy breakfast. It is good for growing children.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rajma Chawal

Rajma Chawal is a simple yet delicious meal for Sunday afternoon or after a hard day’s work. A little planning is required. It is important to soak Rajma (Kidney beans) for 7-8 hours. Jammu Rajma or Kashmiri Rajma is a variety of Rajma which is smaller and red in colour. I prefer this variety over other varieties as it takes only 15 minutes to cook Jammu Rajma whereas other varieties take minimum 25 minutes to cook. Also it is tasty and looks good.
Ingredients :

1 cup Jammu Rajma
Onions – 2 big (chopped finely)
Tomatoes – 2 big (grated)
Ginger – 1 tbsp (grated)
Green Chillies – 2 (whole)
Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp. (chopped)
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp.
Dhania powder – 1 ½ tsp.
Red chilli powder – ¾ tsp.
Garam Masala – 1 tsp.
Oil – 1 tbsp.
Salt – As per tast.

Method :

1. Soak Rajma in water for 7-8 hours.
2. Discard water (some people use it).
3. Add 4 cups of water and salt. Cook for 15 minutes.
4. In a kadai put oil, fry onions for few minutes.
5. Fry ginger and whole green chillies.
6. Fry grated tomatoes and then add all the masalas.
7. Add the cooked Rajma. Simmer for a few minutes.
8. Add more water if required.
9. Garnish with coriander.
10. Serve hot with Rice.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Seviyan (Vermicelli) Upma

Vermicelli (Bambino) Seviyan - 3 cups
Onion - 2 (Cut into small pieces)
French Beans - 10-12 (cut into small pieces)
Green Peas - 1 cup
Carrot - 1 (Cut into small pieces)
Cauliflower - 8-10 small florets
Tomatoes - 2 (chopped)
Mustard Seeds or Rai - 1 tsp
Kari Patta - a few
Green chillies - 2 (Cut into 2 pieces)
Coriander leaves - finely chopped
Turmeric - ½ tea spoon
Red chilli powder - ½ tea spoon
Salt - as per the taste
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
Water - 6 cups
  1. Dry roast Vermicelli in a Kadai until it becomes brownish in colour and then take out of the kadai.
  2. In the same kadai add oil, now add mustard seeds, after they burst add Kadi Patta and green chillies.
  3. Now fry onion. When the onions become brown add tomatoes.
  4. Add the cooked vegetables (Cook the vegetables separately).
  5. Now add turmeric, salt, chilli powder and mix well.
  6. Then add hot water (double of vermicelli).
  7. When water starts boiling, add the roasted seviyan. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes and then reduce the flame.
  8. Cook till the vermicelli becomes soft.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  10. Eat with green coriander chutney or curd.
Tip : All the finely cut vegetables can be separately cooked in a microwave on high for 4 minutes with a little water sprinkled over the vegetables. Sometimes there is no vegetable at home, vermicelli can be cooked with only onion and tomato. It also tastes good. It is an instant breakfast.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Green Peas are full of protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also a source of dietary fibre. Green peas provide some amounts of vitamin C. The sodium content of green peas is low and fat is almost zero.

It is time of the year to keep your family warm with soups. With winter setting in and need of warm soup thus arising, I am giving you another recipe of soup i.e. Peas Soup.

Peas Soup

500 gms. Pea Pods
2 medium potatoes
1 big onion
salt - less than ¼ tsp.
fresh powdered black pepper -1/4 tsp.
4 cups water
1 tsp. butter
Fresh cream (from top of milk)
  1. Cut the onion and potatoes lengthwise.
  2. Take out the peas from the pods.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon butter.
  4. Fry onion for few seconds, followed by potatoes.
  5. Now add peas and 4 cups of water.
  6. Pressure cook the above. (about 2 whistles).
  7. Cool the contents and Blend in mixer till smooth.
  8. Strain and Boil alongwith salt and pepper powder.
  9. Serve hot with a swirl of fresh cream (make smooth with spoon) and pepper.
Note : For four people. The soup is divine. My children like it
very much. The recipe is more or less similar to that of Tomato Soup.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tomato Soup

Botanically a fruit, the tomato is nutritionally categorized as a vegetable. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin C & A and Carbohydrate. It acts as a stimulant to the kidneys and helps in washing away toxins. The red colour (lycopene) keeps aging at bay. Lycopene is an antioxidant which makes sure that there is no harmful free radicals in the system.
Tomatoes can be cooked alongwith vegetables, can be consumed raw in salad or delicious tomato soup can be made.

Tomato Soup (Step-by-Step)


500 gms. red and ripe tomatoes
2 medium potatoes
1 big onion
2 tbsp. sugar
salt - less than ¼ tsp.
fresh powdered black pepper -1/4 tsp.
4 cups water
1 tsp. butter
1 inch ginger (optional)
Fresh cream (from top of milk)


1. Cut the tomatoes in small pieces.
2. Cut the onion and potatoes lengthwise.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon butter.
4. Fry onion for few second, followed by potatoes.
5. Now add chopped tomatoes and ginger.
6. Add 4 cups of water.
7. Pressure cook the above. (about 2 whistles)
8. Cool the contents and Blend in mixer till smooth.
9. Strain to remove seeds and peels.
10. Boil the strained soup alongwith salt, sugar and pepper powder.
11. Serve hot with a swirl of fresh cream (make smooth with spoon) and pepper.
Note : I make this much soup for four persons. I never add any
thickening agent like cornflour or maida. Potatoes make the soup thick.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A visit to Patiala

Hi Friends!
Recently I visited Patiala. Patiala is a city in the Punjab State of India. It takes about one and a half hour to drive to Patiala from Chandigarh. Patiala is famous for its peg (referred as Patiala Peg), pagri (traditional headgear), paranda or Parandi (women weave them at the end of their plaits or braids. The ‘parandi’ today seems to have become an item used exclusively in weddings or as a souvenir being bought by tourists or being gifted to them), Jutti (traditional Punjabi footwear embroidered in several patterns and colours to match dresses), Patiala shahi salwar (A large amount of cloth is required to make the heavily pleated salwar . In the olden times only Royal people could afford to buy the seven metres of cloth needed to make a suit with a Patiala salwar. Hence tagged ‘shahi’), Patiala Lassi (a big glass of lassi) and Phulkari (traditional embroidery of Punjab).

"Sheesh Mahal"

Another picture of "Sheesh Mahal"

"Quila Mubarak"

A "Jutti" shop in Patiala

Now, I am telling you the way Patiala Lassi is being made. Though one can have Lassi in any season, it is best to consume it during hot Summer days. It kills body heat.
Lassi Patiala


2 cups fresh Curd
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cardamom powdered
8-10 strands saffron
1/2 cup crushed ice
Malai - 2 tsp.
Milk - 1 tsp.
1. Soak saffron in 1 tsp. of milk and rub till dissolved.
2. Mix sugar in curd till well dissolved.
3. Just before serving combine all ingredients.
4. Whip well with a hand or electric beater.
5. The lassi is ready when it is light and frothy.
6. Serve chilled with malai (fresh cream) on top.
Note: 1-2 drops of Rose, Kewra or Vanilla essence can be added instead of saffron. Also cardamom is optional.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Kadhi Chawal

Punjabis are predominantly wheat eating people. They cook rice only on special occasions. Rice is eaten with Rajma, Chole or Kadhi. In winter rice is cooked with peas called matarwale chawal. Kadhi rice and Rajma rice are my favourite dishes too. I prepare it on Sundays or on holidays for lunch.
Punjabi Kadhi

- Sour curd - 1kg, Gram flour- 1 cup, Water -1 litre, Onions-2 chopped, Garlic-6 cloves, Ginger-1" piece, Salt - 2 tsp., 1 tea spoon Garam Masala, Cooking oil- 3 tbsp., Chopped coriander-50 grams.
For Baghar or Tadka: - Mustard (Rai) -1 tsp., Fenugreek (Methi)-1/2 tsp., Cumin seed (Jeera)- 1/2 tsp., 6-7 curry leaves
Pakoras (Dumplings) Gram flour -250 grams, Sliced onions, green chillies, fenugreek or spinach chopped, salt -1 tsp., red chilli powder -1/2 tsp., and oil to fry.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, fenugreek and cumin seeds. Add paste of garlic and ginger. Fry the paste till it gets brown, add chopped onions and fry them till light brown. Keep aside. Make batter with gram flour, add water, salt and spices. Beat well till it is light and fluffy. Add onion, chopped chillies and fenugreek or spinach leaves. Heat oil in a Kadai. Make pakoras. Beat curd, add gram flour and water and stir well. Add this to the fried onion-ginger garlic paste. Add salt and powdered masalas to it. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes (stirring frequently) till it coats the back of the ladle, add pakoras and chopped coriander. Cover and keep it aside.
Kadhi goes well with boiled rice.

Sunday, October 29, 2006



1/2 kg. all purpose flour i.e. maida
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. ajwain
3/4 cup Oil to make dough
whole black peppers
Water to make dough
Oil for frying


Mix salt and ajwain in the maida. Add oil. Mix the oil well into the flour. Oil should be evenly mixed into the flour. To test if you have added sufficient oil, take some mixture in your hands and close your hands, then open them, mixture should retain the shape.
Actually the main trick in matthi is how much oil to put and how hard the dough is. Now knead it into a hard (it will be so hard that when you roll out a matthi, its edges will crack, if they are smooth like a roti that means your dough is not hard enough) dough by using as little water as possible. The dough too need not look smooth. Now cover it with wet paper towel/cloth. Leave it for 15 minutes. Now make small rounds and roll out into thick matthis. Put some marks on it using a knife (to prevent it from rising like a puri). Insert one or two whole black peppers into the matthis. Deep fry. Enjoy with hot tea.
You can roll out all the matthis first and then put marks on all of them and then deep fry them in the end together. I believe if you put lots of matthis in the oil together its better. You can also cover your rolled out matthis with wet paper towel/cloth, to prevent them from drying up.


If your matthis have not come out to be khasta and are hard to break, you have not put enough oil. Also you need to apply lot of pressure to make rounds and to roll out the matthis as the dough is very hard.

Namak Pare


Make the dough exactly as above. Make a big round of the size of a thick roti. Roll it out as big as possible. Take a knife and cut it into diamond shaped namak pares by first putting marks from top to bottom 3/4 cm apart all over it parallel to each other and then at an angle. Deep fry.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mooli (Radish) paratha


For Dough
2 cups whole wheat flour

for stuffing
1 cup grated mooli
1 boiled and mashed potato
1/2 tsp. ginger grated
1 green chilli crushed
1 tbsp. coriander leaves chopped
1/2 tsp. garam masala
salt to taste
oil to shallow fry


1. Make soft dough of wheat flour. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
2. Sprinkle some salt over grated mooli this will release the excess water.
3. After 5 minutes, press and remove all excess water.
4. Mix mashed potato and all other ingredients, except oil.
5. Divide the dough in to equal sized balls.
6. Take one ball at a time and roll into a thick round shape about 4" in
diameter, put a tbsp. of mixture. Bring the ends to the center from 4 or 5 points.
7. Overlap ends so that they do not leave an opening.
8. Press gently, dust with dry flour, and roll them with a rolling pin
to approximately six-inch diameter.
9. Heat a griddle, place parantha on it and cook on moderate heat for three minutes.
10.Turn it and pour half a tablespoon of oil or butter, spread it on
parantha and shallow fry over low heat. Turn it and again pour half a
tablespoon of oil or butter on other side. Cook on low heat till golden brown.
11.Serve hot with plain yogurt, any kind of raita or pickles.

Tip : potato is optional for stuffing.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pav Bhaji


Pav Bhaji Masala 2 table spoon
Potato 1 Cup (Boiled and mashed)
French Beans 1 Cup (Boiled)
Cauliflower 1 Cup (Boiled)
Green Peas 1 Cup (Boiled)
Onions 3 Cups (Finely Chopped)
Tomatoes 3 Cups (Finely Chopped or grated)
Capsicum 1 Cup (Finely Chopped)
Ginger 2 tsp (Finely Chopped)
Garlic 2 tsp (Finely Chopped)
Coriander enough for dressing
Salted Butter to taste
Lemon to taste
Salt to taste
Pavs (squarish soft buns )

For Bhaji ( pav bhaji gravy)

Heat the butter in a pan and add garlic and ginger. Fry until garlic turns slightly brown. Add the onions (keeping one cup aside for garnishing ) and fry and until transparent. Add the tomatoes and capsicum and fry for 2 minutes. Add all the vegetables. Add Pav Bhaji Masala and Salt and some water (add more water if u like the bhaji thin). I use Everest Pav Bhajij masala. Bring to Boil. Remove from flame. Add Coriander and Butter.

For Pavs ( bread)

Slit pavs horizontally leaving one edge attached (to open like a book). Apply butter (as desired) and roast open on a griddle till hot and soft with the surface crisp on both sides.

Serve hot with bhaji, a piece of lemon and finely chopped onion.

Batata Vada


Serving size - 4
6-8 medium sized boiled potatoes,
2 cups gram flour (besan),
oil for frying,
pav ( A kind of bun, In India it is known as Pav) - If pavs are not available, you can use any other bun. Choose the ones which do not taste sweet.

1 small piece ginger,
4-5 flakes garlic,
4-5 (or more) green chilies,
1/2 cup coriander leaves (chopped),

For tempering
1 tea spoon turmeric powder,
curry leaves,
1 teaspoon mustard seeds,
2 teaspoon oil

Method :

1. Grind ginger, garlic and green chilies together into a paste.

2. Peel and smash potatoes with a potato masher (or simply use hands). Do not smash completely. Let some small chunks remain.

3. Add ginger, garlic and green chili paste, coriander leaves, and salt to the potatoes.

4. Then take 2 teaspoons oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add turmeric powder and curry leaves.
Pour this tempering on the mashed potatoes and mix gently. .

5. Make small balls of mashed potato mixture. (You can flatten the balls if you like)

6. Add some salt, turmeric powder and chili powder to the gram flour. Add water gradually and keep mixing with a sppon or wire whisk. Remove lumps if any. The batter should not be too watery or too thick. If lifted by a spatula, it should flow in a ribbon like consistency.

7. Heat some oil in a pan. To check if oil is properly heated, drop some batter in the oil. If the batter immediately turns soild and float on the surface of the oil, the oil is ready. Also make sure that the oil is not too hot. Otherwise, the vadas become dark from the outside before they are actually done from the inside.

8. Now dip each ball in the batter, letting the excess batter drip off and slowly add to the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, else the temperature of the oil reduces which in turn slows down the frying process. Like this, deep fry all the vadas until golden. Remove on a paper towel and drain. Batata Vadas are ready.

9. For Vada Pav, split Pav keeping the base intact & spread garlic chutney or green chutney on the inner surfaces of it. Place the vada in it. Serve hot